Out on the street, I saw that someone had spray painted “Gay Journalist” in big letters across my car. I felt myself sink down into what would become months of depression.
Returning to my brother, I did not hesitate. I remember not understanding what I was doing, but I felt the rumbling of the gun shot pass through me. It was as if someone else pulled the trigger.
This change gives non-binary people visibility, validates us, and shows society that we are not living in confusion. It is an identity all its own. We resist, we exist, and we are people who have family, work, and everyday life.
I ask, “Why am I alive,” when I cannot study, work, or even move about. For 20 years, I have dreamed. Every single second—every moment of my life—I was proud to be a woman in Afghanistan. Now, we are left with nothing but a grim life and dread of the future.
After Graduating with a First-Class Honors in my Bachelor of Education, I am now a champion for women’s rights in West Pokot.
I was teased, scorned, and labeled. I was bullied and humiliated in public. My 'friends' reacted in the only way they were taught to: with disgust.
I managed to escape. I fled from the hell that held me captive. Thank God I still have a voice to say what happened to me.
In our community, you are either a man or a woman. I grew up as a man due to my community’s expectations and having been born in the 70s, a time when no one knew about intersex people. I was therefore forced to live and act like a man.
Hospital bills, fraudulent doctors, poverty and COVID-19 all contribute to a rise of impoverished teen mothers with nowhere to turn.