A prominent Zimbabwean transgender activist, Ricky Nathanson, has been granted asylum in the USA.

Ricky “Rikki” Nathanson, applied for political asylum last year after she travelled to the USA to attend an international summit. She never returned home.

“I actually am feeling really much at home,” Nathanson told the Washington Blade during an interview at her office at Casa Ruby where she is the director of HIV/AIDS prevention and outreach. “I’ve been welcomed by a lot of people.”

She spoke of the time she was arrested after she used a women’s toilet in a hotel in Bulawayo. Nathanson told the Blade she was stripped naked in front of five police officers and was kept in jail for three days.

“It was terrible,” she said.  Nathanson entered the U.S. on Nov. 28, 2018, with a visa that would have allowed her to remain in the country through July. But while in the USA thugs broke into her house again.

Nathanson was scheduled to return to Zimbabwe on Dec. 13, but she said state security officials would have arrested her once she arrived in the country.

“That is why I decided it wasn’t safe for me to go home,” said Nathanson adding that “Mnangagwa is a ruthless, ruthless man."

Nathanson has been living in Rockville, Md., with Steve Brooks and his Zimbabwean partner, Talent Nyathi, and another Zimbabwean asylum seeker, since Dec. 9, 2018.