GHANA LGBT COMMUNITY IS ORGANIZING A TWITTER PROTEST ON WED, 31ST OF MARCH, to show dismay over the shutting down of LGBTRIGHTSGhana office space and the increased dehumanization of LGBTQ people in Ghana.
In early 2018, LGBTRightsGhana (LRG) gave a glimmer of hope to queer activism in Ghana. Alex Kofi Donkor started LGBTQ rights Ghana as a cyberactivism blog since there was not so much visibility of LGBTQ folks in the country. According to Kofi, “we didn’t have space where we could hear lessons learned from each other and grow as a community. I created this social media page to share LGBTI news and we eventually moved from a Facebook group to a WhatsApp group.” Kofi added that in December 2018, the group decided to meet in person and strategized on becoming a movement that will lead to LGBTQ conversations and liberation in the country. The group mobilized and each Sunday, they gather to bond through an event called ‘here and beyond’ which gave queer people the opportunity to see themselves in a physical space, inform and educate themselves. The importance of a physical space for queer people is that it allows for a tangible community. In African countries, where LGBTQ identity is decried as “un-African” a physical location presents an African presence that would allow queer Africans to reestablish identity. When the only way you can access a community is away from your land and your people, it can create a dissonance between a person and their cultural identity. LGBTQ Africans have just as much of a right to African identity.
LRG grew to become the leading advocacy group in Ghana and with the help of the public, through GoFundMe, The European Union, the Australian embassy, and the Danish embassy, they were able to get a permanent space that would save as a community center of LGBTQ+ Ghanaians.
However, the opening of the office also opened up the hate of Ghanaian religious and political officials. Catholic Bishops in Ghana put together a conference, to compel the government “not to succumb to pressures to legitimize [LGBTQI] rights in Ghana.” For them, this meant closing the new space. Political leaders like Sarah Adwoa Safo and Kojo Oppong Nkrumah added to the outcry against queer spaces, and as of January 24th, the building has been raided by the police, and LRG has lost access.
Since the closure of LGBT rights Ghana, the violation of LGBTQ people has been on the increase. Just last week, 22 LGBTQ people were arrested by the government for attending a supposed ‘lesbian wedding’. Hence the community in Ghana is organizing the digital protest,