Zambian trans activist live streams naked protest in capital city Lusaka

A Zambian transgender activist stripped naked on Tuesday in the capital city of Lusaka to protest against the discrimination of LGBT+ people in her country. The transgender woman, known as Tanaka, is a LGBT+ rights activist who recently served as co-chair on the Pan Africa ILGA board.

She walked naked down Great East Road in Lusaka while live streaming the protest on Facebook Speaking to the camera, she said: “They want to put me in jail. Please tune in. There’s a naked girl on Great East Road and it’s me.”

Local media reported that Tanaka had escaped from Chainama Mental Health Hospital. Her guardians placed her there believing she had had “a mental breakdown” after she returned from South Africa to begin gender confirmation surgery. Most Zambian news reports misgendered Tanaka and incorrectly described her as “a hermaphrodite” as she has both male and female characteristics.

In the live video, she says: “Look at the human rights discrimination in this country. My own mother is doing this to me. You are my witnesses.” Tanaka was promptly apprehended by police. Before the video ends she says: “They’re about to take me in. I’m still live. I’m still live.”

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