Gays in Ghana speak out

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08f3a02d1ba7b40d440cfab6e124cae5_LGays in Ghana are calling on all and sundry to respect and protect their rights.

According to them, even though men who have sex with men (MSM) in Ghana want to come out publicly, they are afraid of the backlash as the act is seen as devilish and an abomination.

Nana Yaw, a human rights activist and an openly gay man, disclosed this in a video posted on the online portal of Time Magazine.

The video is titled ‘How 2 Gay Men Live in a Country Where Homosexuality Is Illegal.’

It was posted on July 30, 2014 under the name Marisa Schwartz @MarisaRSchwartz.

In the video, Nana Yaw engaged in a conversation with Fred K., also an openly gay man living in Accra, who did not want to share his last name for fear of legal and social repercussions.

In the two-minute-and-fifty-nine-seconds video, Nana Yaw said it is no one’s intention to be gay.

According to him, gays do not want anything to be legalised, explaining that all gays want is for their rights to be respected and protected.

Fred K. said: “In Ghana, everybody is culturally and religiously blinded.

“They think that it is demonic … so I just pray that a time comes that they decide to change and be like the Western countries,” he said.

Narrating how he got kicked out of his parents house, Fred K. explained that he went out for a party and on his way back he met a new friend who came from a very far place so he took the new friend home to spend the night with him.

“Unfortunately, something happened and my parents, my mum happened to bump into it, so she saw everything; my mum started screaming; my daddy came; they packed my things and then threw me out of the house in the morning,” he stated.

He said “people have brought something up that this is devilish; it is evil; that this is an abomination; this is this, this is that.”

He explained that it is very difficult being gay in Ghana, adding that men who have sex with men (MSM) in Ghana want to come out.

“It hurts that, you know, you are doing something and you want people to hear you.

“You want people to see you; you want to come out and it is being difficult for you to do it; it is really hurting,” says Nana Yaw.

An openly gay man living in Accra, Fred K. said, “When I go out, I limit myself.

“I don’t dance; I don’t talk too much; I don’t walk walk too much. I sit. I do everything I want to do sitting.

“But when I am with him, he tells me you are yourself, be yourself,” Fred K. said.

He stated: “So when I am with him I am able to move a bit but not the way I would really want to be when I am alone with him or when we are with other people who are just like us.”

Nana Yaw then said: “You may see me to be gay; I am open; I am out now.

“How would you tell that maybe your junior brother, your elder brother, your father or your grandfather is engaging himself in these homosexual acts?

“So I pray that a time comes when we decide to change and be like the Western countries. Being a human rights activist, I am helping and defending my Gay Bisexual Transgender (GBT) friends.

“I am letting them know that there is hope for the future,” Nana Yaw said.

He said: “No matter what it is, no matter what it takes, there will be a time in which things will set all rights; things will be stable.”

Some 37 African countries criminalise homosexual relationships, with penalties ranging from misdemeanours to death sentences, according to a Human Rights Campaign Foundation report released Tuesday.

The report, which analysed Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) rights in 54 African countries in total, paints a picture of a continent in crisis.

In Ghana, a country often regarded as among the most progressively democratic nations in Africa, homosexuality remains illegal, punishable by up to three years’ imprisonment.

A recent Pew survey of various countries, not all African, reveals that 98% of Ghanaians feel that homosexuality is “morally unacceptable,” the highest percentage of any country surveyed.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s report is out just a week before U.S. President Barack Obama is slated to hold the first U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington, D.C. Advocates from the U.S. and Africa are jumping on that opportunity to bring the continent’s controversial LGBT rights record to the world’s attention.

 

-The Finder

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ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

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A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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