For 16 year old Gilfine Chikanya, leaving her house alone has become a suicidal act.
She has received death threats from members of the community for identifying herself as transgender.
Born male, Chikanya identifies herself as a trans woman.
In an interview with BustopTV, Chikanya who lives with her mother in Karoi, a small town in Mashonaland West, Zimbabwe, said she has been labelled ‘satanist’ by the community.
Gilfine was harassed and expelled from Champion Gwande Secondary School last year because of her sexuality.
“Before I was expelled from school, it wasn’t easy for me to visit the toilet. I would wait for other students to go home first so that I could use the toilet or hold it till I reach home.
Last year in June I was kidnapped, and taken to Harare for two weeks. I was rescued by police officers. I am glad i am still alive,” Gilfine said.
Her mother, Judith Chikanya, said since kindergarten, Gilfine would prefer to associate with females.
“It’s very difficult for the society we live in to accept my child. She is always being threatened at home, school or church, and she can’t leave home alone.
The society we live in is a constant threat to my child and I can do nothing about it,” Judith said.
Gilfine recently managed to secure a place at a school that accepts queer people though she still lives in fear of stigmatisation and violence.