A transgender woman in Zambia reportedly faces 15 years in prison for the crime of sodomy after a man she met claimed he was "deceived" by her, reported the Washington Blade.
A newspaper in that African country, TheZambia Daily Mail, misgendered the trans woman, deadenamed her and referred to her as a "fake woman" in its headline on October 31, reporting that Magistrate Derrick Mate Chingumbe convicted the trans woman in a court in the country's Mongu District.
The newspaper identified the trans woman as a 27-year-old hairdresser.
The plaintiff was a 19-year-old taxi driver, who told the court that he met her at a local bar in September. He told the court that the defendant was dressed as a woman when they first met, according to the newspaper. The cabbie testified that the trans woman asked him to turn off the lights before they had anal sex.
Judge Chingumbe granted the trans woman bail and said she could appeal the verdict to the Zambian High Court, after announcing her conviction.
"I have concluded that Bril [the last name of the trans woman] did actually permit the taxi driver to have carnal knowledge of him. In fact, he was made to believe that he was actually going to sleep with a woman and a woman only because of the way he [the trans woman] was dressed, and he [the trans woman] had long hair."
The Washington Blade asked U.S. State Department spokesperson John Kirby on Wednesday during his daily press briefing about the trans woman's conviction. He had not seen the report, Kirby said.
"If it's true, it would be deeply concerning to the United States," he said.
The Zambian government was asked by the Blade for comment but at press time had not yet responded.