Solace in a shunned love

Solace in a shunned love

April 3rd, 2023 | BY a100voicesofus |

by Ifemi

I have always felt l existed on the vulnerable end of society; molested, raped and preyed on by men
while being constantly judged for my choices as a woman. Society would only reprimand me more for
being a woman attracted to other women. My journey started when my body started blossoming into
womanhood, yet it feels like my life just began now at 23.
l learnt to suppress my attraction to women and simply dismissed it as a deep-seated curiosity in the
hopes of being ‘normal’. Looking back now, l see the countless moments right from puberty where l
made out with girls and the never-ending crushes on my female friends.
I learnt to hide from my sexuality and the moments l gathered the courage to meet girls, l met
disturbed men posing as women. I remember this other time some guy had a group on Facebook for
lesbians. I was so excited to be accepted and he gave me a contact of a girl named Avril who weirdly
enough just wanted to ask for my nude pictures. I knew that l just couldn’t converse with this person,
only to learn later that they are a guy named Tadiwa and they wanted to lure me into a sexual trap. I
mean how could l meet anyone queer, with the amount of hate disguised under religious beliefs and
culture. A lot of LGBTQIA people are not living openly, just shielding themselves from vile attacks.
I felt so alone and different.
After attempting to kiss my closest friend, she let me down but helped me find Tinder where l met
other queer people.
I, however, had been in a relationship with a guy and l was exploring my sexuality under the ‘bi-
curiosity’ guise. I did not want to be different. I did not want to add to the things that made me
vulnerable in this society. The time had come for me to face my truth!
After meeting an amazing girl and falling irrevocably in love, I was getting buried under the web of
lies. I couldn’t fathom losing her, just thinking of choosing the guy who would become my mother’s
perfect mukwasha. My mother had loved this man upon introductions the previous months. This
conflict was sending me to the darkest parts of my mind.
The battle as a feminine presenting queer woman; to choose the easier, more acceptable route in
society’s eyes and do the one thing l had been perfecting since birth and become a muroora, a wife to

aid my husband, had just begun. The questions people would ask about my attraction to women
included: “Musikana wacho zvaanongoita semukomana wani” (your masculine partner looks like a
guy, why not just date guys). “You can never replace the D.”
I faced one of the darkest times as l internally battled with my sexuality. I fell into a deep depression.
There is not a way to kill myself l did not look up. Turns out it’s quite difficult to end your life
I knew in my heart l couldn’t live without her now that l had met her.
Kutsvaga kumaporofita(looking for prophets) or friends, nothing gave me peace like she did. I felt l belonged.
Despite acknowledging how she made me feel, I was filled with fear of the unknown. What if I’d
regret not choosing to be married to a man, to be like most unhappy married women? I died a little
every time l had to pretend; I had to choose her. My peace, my solace, my home.
I was thrown out of the house by my mother and she wouldn’t speak to me after I was outed. Society
had turned against me and some of my family were also shunning me, calling me an abomination. It
pains me knowing that I am facing all this hate and shame when l just want to love and be loved in a
manner that makes sense to me.
I am shunned like l have become a leaper but who l choose to share my life with doesn’t change the
person my family raised. Sure, go ahead and smuggle gold out of the country, people will still attend
your church. Dare l choose to be me and marry the woman l love! As a society, we have double
standards disguised as morals/hunhu/Ubuntu.
I feel a heavy weight on my shoulders as l truly begin to live in a hateful society that wants to burn me
to the ground but l couldn’t feel more free. My advice to anyone who is afraid to start their journey or
is just beginning to truly embrace themselves is that there was someone before you that journeyed on
these crooked paths, knocking on the door of society, to let them know we are human too! We are
Zimbabwean, we are African too and we deserve to be here.

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