A woman has been axed to death in Swaziland for being gay.
Kaylo Glover, a young lesbian from Nhlangano, Swaziland, was at a bar with her friends on March 15th.
She was killed by an enraged man who did not want to be in the presence of lesbians.
He left the bar, fetched an axe from his car, returned and killed Kaylo.
Kaylo was rushed to hospital by her friends, and her killer followed, chasing her friends with an axe.
As Kaylo’s friend ran, she heard the guys shout “let’s finish off these dogs”.
Neither the nurses nor the doctors could reach Kaylo in time, she bled to death. She was just 26.
She was born and raised in Nhlangano, Glover was proudly out to both friends and family, and was popular in her community. She was also in seven-month relationship.
On the night that Kaylo went out to the night club in her town, she felt safe. Harassment did happen in Nhlangano, but Kaylo often just shrugged it off.
Speaking to Iranti-org, Glover’s mom said:
“I always walk with Kaylo, the guys always say horrible things and I tell her to ignore them. They killed her because she was a lesbian. She has never harmed anyone, or fought with anyone.’
This is the second murder of an LGBTI person in Nhlangano this year alone. A month ago, a gay man known as Themba was also killed.
Sane Mshengu, the director of Rock of Hope, said:
“We don’t know what to make of these murders, it is so disturbing and scary. Swaziland comprises mainly of traditional family structures, with extended families marked by a set of strong traditions and norms. Speaking about being lesbian, gay, or transgender is very difficult and is often suppressed.”
It seems Kaylo’s death has broken the silence around hate crimes in Swaziland. It is bringing attention to the poor human-rights situation in this country, where the monarch is so incredibly rich and its citizens are poor and where LGBTI persons live hidden, framed as “the other”. Under Swaziland law, female homosexuality is legal while male homosexuality can be punishable with the death penalty.
However, as Kaylo’s family gather to try and make sense of this unnecessary act of hate that took her away, they believe that her identity as a lesbian must be remembered.