CALM AND COLLECTED … Zimbabwean Trans* activist Dzoe Ahmad
As a teenager she had no friends, people labelled her a taboo and her father an ardent Muslim Sheikh condemned her as a shame. “I lost my confidence in things l loved, l felt useless, unlike other school kids l had no interest in sport or any social activities, i was just a loner.”
Dzoe Ahmad recalls her with sadness how she spent most of her childhood feeling stuck and isolated. Born in 1988 on the 13th of June one of the coldest months in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, her life was not smooth sailing having brought up in a very religious family. This pressure meant that she had to abide by the religious doctrines and behave in a certain manner to please her family and society.
Today, Dzoe an inspiring activist and role model in the Zimbabwean transgender community celebrates the pain she felt during her entrapment, “Without those tears, l couldn’t be having freedom and family acceptance from my loved ones. Dzoe who is currently studying towards a diploma in business management believes that her life’s challenges have shaped the person she is.
” l believe my challenges, struggles and difficulties have moulded me to be the brave and courageous human being i am.”
Below Queerstion Magazine Southern Africa co-editor Eva Wilhelmina shares the interview with the resilient trans activist Dzoe.
What does being Transgender mean to you
We were all born with human rights and dignity regardless of one’s sexual orientation and gender identity, In the eyes of the Lord, we are equal. Being Trans means l was born as a child like others but my uniqueness made me different from others. l celebrate being a unique and different human being. ”
What is it like to be a transgender woman transitioning in Zimbabwe
“The struggle is real but it takes being brave to overcome this. In Zimbabwe Transgender rights are not recognised as human rights, there is not enough knowledge about our issues and medical personnel also lack understanding and sensitivity. For example, accessing public medical services such as hormonal treatment is impossible. This is why most of us self-medicate. I administered myself with female hormones for a month, unfortunately i had to stop because i was scared i would overdose and develop health complications.
How did you deal with these challenges you faced
Once i let go of all the anger and fear that haunted me, i forgave myself for having blamed myself for all my bad experiences, then i found healing. This is how inner healing truly saved me. Today I proudly celebrate my transition. The strength in me built the courage and power to overcome hateful people and now I am the woman l always dreamt i was. The moment l started living my truth, l found true happiness and peace in my heart.