I was raped and infected with HIV because I am transgender

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AUTHOR: Okun Oliech

I am a trans-woman living in Kisumu County and I am HIV positive. I dropped out of school when I was 13 years old because I was never at peace in there. Everyone was making fun of me.  Both teachers and students at my school used to say I was possessed with demons and I needed to be preached upon so that the demons in me that made me act like ladies could get out of me. Others kept saying I needed to see a doctor so that they could correct my condition and yet I wasn’t sick. I was frequently bullied in school and no one came to my rescue.

At home things were just the same as in school.  I could hear my parents argue at night in their room that I was a product of infidelity and that the gods had punished my mother by giving her an evil and cursed child. The community around me was so mean and heartless to me. They never even cared about how I felt as a human being. In fact they never saw me as a human being. To them I was like an animal.

I was raped twice by people whom I knew very well. They said they were trying to correct me so that I could become manly and straight. I reported the incident to the police but no action was taken. The guys that did this inhumane act to me were hostile to me and threatened to kill me. I was forced to run away from home and live in the streets.

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