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Cameroon family evicts their activist trans daughter

A young transgender activist in Cameroon has been evicted from her family home because of her gender identity. She is now homeless and needs help.

By Courtney Stan

For her security, the photo of Nini does not show her face. (Photo by Courtney Stan)
For her security, the photo of Nini does not show her face. (Photo by Courtney Stan)

Trans activist Nini (a pseudonym) lived with her parents until last year while she attended university.

At age 22, she is eager to continue her education, but that might no longer be possible.

Born male, she identifies as a woman and is sexually attracted to men.

In October 2019, she was kicked out of the family home in Yaoundé by her mother after the family realized her gender identity. She pleaded to be allowed to come home, but all doors were closed to her. Her family stopped paying her university tuition.

Nini explained:

“I found myself alone without any help. Sometimes I even simulated illnesses to get the family’s attention, but they never wanted to know how I was doing. At that moment, I understood that I could not count on them anymore.

After meeting with a health care provider, I discovered that I was HIV positive. My circumstances became more difficult, because discrimination based on my HIV status was added to the discrimination against my sexual orientation and gender identity.

My studies were stopped for lack of money.

I needed treatment for HIV, but often I couldn’t manage it because my diet was not consistent. I often had dizziness, stomach aches, tiredness, vomiting and other ailments. For a while I had to stop taking my ARVs because, without a good diet, the drugs were threatening my health.

Despite all those problems, I could not get through to my family. I had become persona non grata.

For the past four months, I have been living without a fixed address. I spend the nights with friends when the opportunity arises. I need help to get a small room and start a business where I can earn money, eat and follow my doctor’s orders.

Nini has been working with a local trans advocacy group, but in Cameroon it is not easy for transgender people to find a job and earn a decent living.

The author of this article, Courtney Stans, is a Cameroonian journalist who writes under a pseudonym. Contact her at info@76crimes.com.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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