Ignatius Annor, a journalist for EuroNews English in Ghana, came out as gay during a broadcast this week about the battle between the organization LGBT+ Rights Ghana and the right-wing religious group National Coalition for Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values (NCPHSRFV) over a community center functioning as a safe space for LGBTQ people.
Said Annor: “This is going to be the very first time that I am using your medium to say that not only am I an activist for the rights of Africa’s sexual minorities, what you will call the LGBT+ community, but I am gay. Obviously, I denied it because I was afraid of losing my job, I was working at an incredible television station in Accra and also for the fear of what would happen to me personally.”
Pink News reports: “In Ghana, homosexuality is illegal and anti-LGBT+ sentiment is common, spouted by lawmakers and faith leaders and codified by its colonial-era laws. Queer residents have escaped being burned alive by vigilantes, robbed, abused and blackmailed by Grindr catfishers and the country’s chief imam has blamed the coronavirus on ‘transgender and lesbianism’ and called LGBT+ people ‘demonic’. Such laws, Annor hopes, ‘could be scrapped’ one day so ‘that people like myself who have life, who work, and contribute to the socio-economic fibre of Republic of Ghana can be accepted as human beings deserving of respect, kindness and dignity’.”
The community center was forced to close temporarily on Tuesday due to the outcry from religious groups, its director Alex Kofi Donkor told Reuters: “We did not expect such an uproar. We expected some homophobic organisations would use the opportunity to exploit the situation and stoke tension against the community, but the anti-gay hateful reaction has been unprecedented.”