Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) community in Blantyre have bemoaned the discrimination they face in society.
They expressed the concerns on Saturday during the orientation of the community on sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination case documentation facilitated by Malawi Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Personally Affected by HIV (Manerela+).
Shinda Phiri, from Machinjiri Township, said most of them suffer in silence.
She said: “I was violently evicted from home in 2019 after my relations discovered that I am a lesbian.
“I stay alone and although I have never been physically mistreated, I endure gender-identity related stigma and discrimination.”
Mustarff Steven from Kachere Township, said people questioned his sexuality and faces stigma.
“I am gay and people say I am a satanic or reject. People humiliate me but I endure the insults,” he said.
However, Shaya Manda, a trans-gender, said he was physically injured when he refused to sleep with another man.
“The man demanded I sleep with him and pay him K240 000, but I refused. He beat me and stole my K25 000, phones and power bank,” said Manda.
Manda did not report the incident to police for fear of being discriminated against in society.
Manerela+ programmes officer Harold Kachepatsonga said they wanted to equip the LGBTIQ community with personal safety skills and sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination case documentation.
He said: “We observed that many violence and discrimination cases against LGBTIQ persons go unreported for fear of being arrested.
“Provision of safety for LGBTIQ is the responsibility of everyone, as such, we urge the police and courts to bring to book perpetrators.”
Manerela+ is implementing Strengthening LGBTIQ Inclusive Faith Communities in Malawi Project in Ndirande, Chilomoni, Lunzu, Chileka, Machinjiri, Bangwe, Kachere, Soche, Chirimba and Mpemba townships with funding from Bread for the World