How the story appeared in the newspaper in Malawi, clearly showing that this couple are not "two men" but rather a man and a person who presents as a woman.
But in this photo from the trial, the transgender person is denied wearing the clothes she normally wears, and thus the Western media shout about the injustice to these "two men" - They're certainly part of our Queer community, but we have to call this what it is.
It is still too crazy.
But it's happening. A transgender male-to-female twenty-something and a twenty-something guy fall in love. The couple invite their friends to a party where, even though their marriage isn't legal in their country (due to the lack of transgender rights), they can celebrate their engagement.
Word gets out that the transgender woman is not a 'real' woman, and the couple is arrested.
And last week, convicted to 14 years of hard labor.
For daring to love each other.
The couple are Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, and they are citizens of Malawi, in Africa.
Here's a petition you can sign, urging the President of Malawi to release the couple immediately.
You can also check out and support Amnesty International, which publicizes cases like these and other "prisoners of conscience" around the world - people - male, female, and transgender, who are jailed and persecuted unjustly.
My thanks to Andy over at Towleroad for the online petition link and for sharing what Madonna and President Obama had to say (Madonna made the same mistake I did earlier, referring to the couple as "two men", while the White House did a better job of stating:
The criminalization of sexual orientation and gender identity is unconscionable
And my Thanks to Angie for helping me see this as the trans-phobic story it is.
Check out this great blog post over at Skip The Makeup for more on the trans-phobia surrounding the reporting of this story!