Ghanaian gay refugee tells his horrific story

Published: December 8, 2011

Imagine if your family published a newspaper story saying you were evil, and that the story made some neighbours feel obligated to smash your skull with rocks. There are thousands of stories like this in Africa. This one is horrific but has a happy ending.

We know there’s a crisis facing lesbian, gay and transgender people around the globe.

Homosexuality is criminal in about 77 countries, including five with the death penalty, and numbers are growing. Particularly in Africa, queer people are being terrorized into the closet, prison cells or the club-wielding hands of lynch mobs. Many religious groups exacerbate this terror to mobilize against wicked Western morals and the ‘previously unknown’ foreign import – homosexuality.

Laws against homosexuality did not exist in Africa until the late 19th Century under British colonization. Nowadays, African leaders who promote gay hatred maintain the colonialist mentality. Governments cracked down on homosexuals as a way to unite Christians and Muslims in Africa.

This could seem comical, except that modern queer Africans are fleeing homelands where they’ve been imprisoned, blackmailed or tortured because of their sexuality or gender identity. Many are physically or sexually assaulted by police or religious officials.

In 2011, the Canadian Government amended the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and other legislation claimed to improve Canada’s asylum system for refugees.

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