Trans teen from Brunei applies for asylum in Canada

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Zoella Zayce—who is 19-years-old—is currently living in a basement apartment in Vancouver while she awaits a decision on her claim for asylum, CBC reports. The girl explained that she had planned to flee Brunei for years, but as the country enacted Sharia law, she decided that now or never. Zayce fled Brunei late last year as she was afraid of her conservative family finding out that she was trans. She never told them about it, though her family is concerned that they might have a gay son and attempted to ‘cure’ it. She said she was “traumatized” when her family brought her to a cleric who subjected her to exorcism (‘gay cure therapy’) when she was just 11, since then she knew she could no longer be safe with her own parents. She knew she would have to leave Brunei in 2014 when she heard that two people had been fined and jailed for cross-dressing. Zayce expects to hear the result of her claim for asylum as soon as November, and in the meantime is working full-time in the Canadian city of Vancouver.

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