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I was raped and almost got killed by my family for being a transgender

By Okun Oliech | February 13th 2017
Abdul (not his real name) is a 23-year-old transgender living in Malindi.He was born male, but him she knew she was female as he grew up.

According to her the uncle repeatedly raped her.She also revealed that her father and brother attacked and tried to kill her multiple times because of her sexuality.

 She ran away from their home in Eastleigh in Nairobi County to Malindi at the coastal region. To survive in Malindi, she resorted to prostitution.
This is what she had to say.

When I was 7 years old, I used to play with girls only and I loved Barbie dolls. At 13 I used to sit in front of the mirror and put some make up on, wear my sisters’ dress and shoes and cat walk like them. Sometimes my parents would catch me doing all this and they would insult me and beat me.

At 17 I was expelled from high school for being too girlish. My parents and siblings were too ashamed of me.

They tried to correct me by praying for me but nothing changed. My father later brought my uncle who said he could help me but instead he raped three times in the name of trying to correct me and told me not to tell anyone about it.

I felt destroyed and I got depressed. It lasted for a long time. It was a very horrible period of my life. He used to tell me it was normal and gave me money and told me not to it tell anyone.

 I used to scream and tell him to go away. I couldn’t tell anyone about it because no one would believe me because he was so religious.
My brother with the aid of my father finally resorted to killing me after they saw I couldn’t change.

My brother tried to stab me with a knife three times but he wasn’t successful. Several times he would beat me up with a metal rod and I would scream out loud in pain and my mother would come to my aid.
My father also once tried to strangle me to death but luckily I overpowered him and ran outside the house.

I thought my neighbors would help me but they were not different from my father and brother. They said people like me were cursed and I should die.

I somehow managed to escape from them and I decide to go far away from my parents and community around me.
That’s how I ended up in Malindi and I found other people like me and am happy here. Even though we live a secret life, at least here am free from my father, brother, and neighbors.

“I wish people could understand that being transgender doesn’t us make less human. We are human being like any other human being and we have the right to live, and to build ourselves and reach our aims and our sexual identity and continue with our studies, and build our future and our real world, which is not ruled by bad traditions.

We wish to live in a country where we are treated like human beings and which will give us the opportunity to live our lives in a normal way and enjoy our rights as a human being.

People think we wake up and decide to be transgender but that is not true. We are created in the image of God and our ideals in life are to be happy, to be respected and to be comfortable.

Abdul hasn’t shared this experience with anyone else before and this being his first time to openly do so, she wants other transgender people living in the country to know that they are not alone and they should not be embarrassed or think less of themselves because of the treatment they receive from people who do not understand them.

He calls upon all the transgender people to come out of the closet and speak up about the need for countrywide comprehensive protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
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