Sexual orientation disclosure: Still a long walk to freedom says Galz

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    Galz vows to continue to fight against discrimination against gays and lesbians in Zimbabwe
    • Zim society lack tolerance
    • Galz vow to continue fighting against discrimination

    MUTARE – For five years, life for Tasha, 22, (not her real name) from Dangamvura, Mutare, was hell while abode with her uncle.

    Tasha had come out of the closet and disclosed to her uncle that she was a lesbian at the age of 14.

    From that moment, the young girl began to endure one episode of violent discrimination after the other from her uncle.

    Having failed to handle the endless emotional torture, verbal and physical abuse, Tasha fled from home to stay with friends in the neighbourhood who seemed to understand her situation.

    “When l disclosed to my uncle that l was a lesbian, all hell broke loose. I was called an abomination with no acceptance from him and his church,” she said.

    “They stopped giving me food. Everyday l endured verbal and emotional abuse. I became so depressed that at one time l considered committing suicide,” Tasha said.

    “l couldn’t take the abuse and emotional torture anymore. I fled from home because I knew what l wanted. It is my right to be a lesbian,” she explained.

    “I am happy now that I am free from my uncle and the abusive family members. l still feel that more must be done in terms of recognising us as people who are entitled to their rights,” she said.

    Tasha also lamented the manner in which Gays, Lesbians, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) groups have remained marginalised and excluded from society.

    Tasha is a member of the Gays and Lesbians Association of Zimbabwe (Galz), an organisation which strives for the attainment of full and equal human, social and economic rights in all aspects of life for LGBT.

    She is at Galz Mutare, an organisation that advocates the community’s change of perception towards the LGBT community.

    Galz director Chester Samba said the LGBT community is not recognised and accepted as legitimate sub-groups by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

    “We will continue fighting for the full rights of the LGBT community. We have suffered intolerance and humiliation, and this is enough,” Samba said.

    “The LGBT community must be protected from discrimination. We must be guided by the international rules on the application of international human rights laws in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity,” he said.

    The organisation is continuously seeking protection from discrimination and arbitrary arrests for its members.

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