Tatenda Ngwaru came to the United States with sixty dollars and the hope that she would finally find a place she belonged. Raised as a boy in rural Zimbabwe, she spent her teens trying to understand her complicated gender identity in a highly restrictive society before finally discovering she was intersex, a person born with both male and female sex characteristics.
Tatenda’s decision to embrace her identity in a country where being queer is criminalized and stigmatized caused a rift in her family and eventually forced her to flee Zimbabwe after receiving community pressure and threats of violence.
Two years later, Tatenda has learned that even a diverse, queer-friendly city like New York is a hard place to make home. Driven by a desire to educate others about the lives of intersex people, she fights homesickness and personal demons to tell her story during New York Pride.
She’s Not a Boy, directed by Yuhong Pang and Robert Tokanel, premiered at Columbia Journalism School (December 2018) and will be screened at Wicked Queer: The Boston LGBT Film Festival as an official selection on April 7, 2019.