Centering trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming folks

As Transgender Week of Visibility and Transgender Day of Remembrance come to an end, it is important that we keep centering the experiences of  trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming folks. Trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming Ethiopians must keep telling our stories. We must continue to resist erasure, both within the LGBTQ+ community and in the larger Ethiopian society.

The latest issue of Nisnis magazine, which will focus on the theme of “our bodies” and which is scheduled to be released soon, will include the stories of people whose gender expressions and identifications don’t align with traditional understandings of gender. One of the people we interviewed is Boney, a courageous and beautiful soul who captures what it means to live life on the margins of this transphobic society. 

Below are some excerpts from their interview:

“I am biologically male, but my mannerisms were more like a female’s, and I did not enjoy what other boys or men enjoyed. …. I was bullied, and I experienced a lot of hate in elementary and high school, and I worried so much that I sometimes didn’t even want to go to school”.

“Wearing certain things or presenting in a certain manner may not “make me comfortable, but I live in a society that is not yet developed and is not accepting and tolerant, so I have to do what I need to survive.”

“After I managed to accept my sexuality, the rest was easier. Being able to say, “This is what I am,” to thank the Creator for creating you this way, and to reconcile your religion with your sexuality is the big step.”

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