Wearing a hijab that covers her long hair, a traditional Arabic dress with roses and wedge heels, she sits in the office of a community group that offers support to LGBT sex workers, trying to regain her composure. “Princess Shadya,” as she is known to friends, is transgender and identifies as a woman. And she lives in Tanzania, where LGBT people are increasingly coming under attack from the government.
“I’m getting worried if they know I’m transgender they will refuse to give me medicine,” says Shadya, who asked that her real name not be used because of the government’s crackdown.Last August, the justice minister suspended HIV prevention programs, funded by the U.S., that were aimed at gay men — and warned that any nonprofit that supports homosexuality would be suspended. Since then, there has been a continued effort to wind back or stop such programs.