Excerpts from a Diary: Surviving Ethiopia

This is our “Excerpts from a Dairy” series. We publish excerpts of thoughts and reflections from emails, dairies and journals of people from the queer community. These excerpts could be complete entries or uncompleted and unstructured excerpts that show our personal thoughts and reflections about our lived experience. 

We welcome submissions and they can be sent to etqueerfamily@gmail.com

The below excerpt, extracted from a longer email, is an exploration of the struggle that it takes to survive as a queer person in Ethiopia.

“The homophobia and transphobia in this country is unbelievable and the anger at the audacity of women to speak is unbearable. I won’t sugarcoat it: Living in Ethiopia is a goddamn battle. And speaking comes with a huge risk and I relate with the discussions about oppression related trauma. The violence that one faces for playing with gender – always bending and blurring the lines – and for refusing to participate in heteronormativity is brutal. I like to think that I have found ways to mitigate that risk or to at least make it manageable. It affects me … but I have learned ways to lessen the pain. I do yoga and meditation to gain perspective and to prevent myself from taking any of it personally. [Kicking workouts] are almost perfect as an outlet for my pent-up frustrations:) I have good people around me …. [But] there are still days that I want to scream or get the hell away from this place.”

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