Editorial by Jo Maenzanise
Our community continues to face a unique set of challenges due to the complexity of our gender which often leaves us marginalised even in the collective LGBT+ community.
The challenges we face show that much of society remains divided on gender even as “some” progress is being made in “embracing” the diversity of human sexuality.
We face humiliation through gendered clothing with some of us being forced to wear clothing that matches the gender we were assigned at birth. This is often the case at our churches, schools, workplaces or in our homes.
It is in our homes where, as Jordan highlights in her essay, we often have to be in the closet because we fear the consequences of our loved one’s inability or unwillingness to accept us as we are.
Likening us to the Grinch who resented the festive season, Jordan explains that this forced assimilation often leaves us resenting the times we have to hide parts of our identity so we can be with those who are special to us.
On a positive note, one of our own, Bree Chacha is defying odds and flying the trans flag high as a businesswoman in Zimbabwe. There are several of us who, like Bree, have managed to venture into the business world and are making a decent living out of it. Sadly, this hasn’t been the case for some of us with others even struggling to find employment. What’s more, landing a job becomes even tougher when one’s gender doesn’t match what their identity documents reflect.
The inability to make money — through businesses or other forms of work — often poses another challenge for those of us wishing to undergo medical transition. This leaves some of us with no option but to access hormonal treatment through illegal means which increase the risk of developing various health complications.
In light of all these and other challenges we face, the onus is on us to remain resilient, especially as our visibility grows, and work together to create the inclusive society we want.