Date: Thursday 23rd of June 2022.
Time: 12:00 pm – 03:00 pm
Time: 12:00 pm – 03:00 pm
On the 31st of January 2021, a popular On-Air-Personality with the name Oheneyere Gifty had her show (The StandPoint- Listen to the feminine side) discussed “my struggle with homosexuality”, inviting two other persons who claimed to be “ex and struggling” gay person and a former Lesbian. Coincidentally, that was also the day for LGBT+ rights Ghana ( A youth led LGBT movement in Ghana) Fundraiser and safe space launch.
Over the years, the African big and small media houses had thrived on emotions, biases, and unprofessionalism when it comes to LGBT narratives, with each giving their audience what they perceive it takes to retain them. With histories of controversies and misinformation being the focal point of these media houses on queer matters, they drive conversations that fuels more hate toward LGBT persons. A major driver of such conversation in media is Ghana is Gifty Anti, who according to LGBT rights Ghana is ” A well known journalist/broadcaster and a gender activist” who “this is not her first time encouraging damaging stereotypes about LGBT persons in Ghana. In 2019, in the heat of the CSE debate, she compared homosexuality to skin bleaching”.
While the LGBT+ rights Ghana led by Alex Kofi Donkor had their fundraiser and safe space opening day, Gift Anti had her discussion. The Safe space opening event was graced by representatives from the European Union Ghana, Australian High commission Ghana amidst others, and this “posed” a threat to the Ghanaian goverment, and media. Writing on their webiste, Modern Ghana said “some people in Ghana have the audacity and effrontery to build LGBT office in Ghana, Tesano to be precise. They held an occasion to officially open their office and called for interested persons to come and join. The most worrying aspect of whole thing is, top officials came to grace the occasion including representatives from African Union, European Union and other top officials from USA, UK and others were present. Their head made it clear that “*they have come to stay.*”
Speaking at the Parliament’s Appointments Committee for vetting on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 , Ghana’s Minister-designate of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Sarah Adwoa Safo spewed “Mr Chair, the issue of LGBT is an issue that when mentioned, it creates some controversy but what I want to say is that our laws are clear on such practice. It makes it criminal. Section 104 of the Criminal Code prohibits one from having unnatural carnal knowledge with another person. So, on the issue of its criminality, it is non-negotiable. On the issue of our cultural acceptance and norms, these practices are also frowned upon. So, for me, these are two distinct clarities on the matter and that is what I strongly stand for,”. Ghana’s Homophobic lawyers Moses Foh-Amoaning and others are working actively to get the Safe Space closed.
Clearing the air on February 11, 2021 as regards the words on the street of Ghana, which had been that the Europeans sponsored the space to “propagate homosexuality” LGBT Rights Ghana posted an official communique stating that the event or office space wasn’t sponsored by the Australian High commision, which was only a guest just like others.
Joyce Opoku Boateng a human rights lawyer in Ghana said that calls for the office of LGBT right Ghana that was recently opened in Accra to be shut down are against the laws of the country. According to Wikipedia “Same-sex sexual acts between males are illegal in Ghana, and LGBT rights are heavily suppressed. The majority of Ghana’s population hold anti-LGBT sentiments. Physical and violent homophobic attacks against LGBT people are common, and are often encouraged by the media and religious and political leaders. At times, government officials, such as police, engage in such acts of violence. Reports of young gay people being kicked out of their homes are also common, as well as reports of conversion therapy occurring across Ghana.
Despite the Constitution guaranteeing a right to freedom of speech, expression and assembly to Ghanaian citizens, these fundamental rights are actively denied to LGBT people. Pro-LGBT activism exists in Ghana, but such efforts are often thwarted by the Ghanaian government.”
While the struggle continues, the media seem continuously acting to misinform the people , “Weaponizing LGBTQ (hating words) by some Ghanaian politicians to discredit, insult & dehumanize LGBTQ Ghanaians. Playing the populist rhetoric & appealing to people’s worst prejudices”.
Lend your voice to the Ghanaian Queer community today by taking a stance against the closure of their safe space. You can write to your Government to lend a voice, Follow LGBT rights Ghana on socials, donate to their course, create infographics, or share this !
The conversation around sexuality and identity steadily seem to be gaining momentum in Nigeria, where visibility is no longer the focus of community conversations and discuss, but how to properly, and positively utilize the visibility the community has horned, to propagate more social acceptance of Queer folx in Nigeria. Haven properly learnt to harness social media platforms to raise the bar for visibility, more representation and diversity ( being basis of inclusion ) is experienced. We are now our story tellers, our very own pilots of our narratives. More voices are being raised across different forms of human existence on Queerness in Nigeria. The world witnessed the loud ones like the #Endsars Movement, the #EndHomophobiaInNigeria which seem to have shone in a very centrifugal light on the Nigeria Queer community, with its resulting community visibility being the strongest at it’s emerging identity.
With the anonymous ability of the birdie app, the Nigerian queer community has continued to grow in a beautiful, strong , and powerful way, with numeric strength driving more conversation and giving representation in conversations found safe. One of such community conversations which found it way to twitter is that from the trans community. A tweep tweeted
The twitter thread did not just throw a lot of questions into the air and leave us to wonder if answers can be gotten, it brings to the table answers waiting to be heard, struggle wailing to be seen, stories hoping to be told, One of which is “What’s the Nigerian Transwoman Experience” ?
The Nigerian Trans Experience isn’t specifically different from the everyday trans woman who is from a space where legal protection doesn’t exist for queer people, it is the same story of constant confusion, emotional imbalance, physical and mental insecurity, body dysmorphia, paranoia and loneliness. Trans women in Nigeria are getting to learn on their own what transition should be like, forming little sisterhoods to share the pain, trauma, lessons, and laughter from existing on the street of Nigeria.
Across the world, The news of violation and killing of Transwomen are no longer new in the news, and this does not exclude Nigeria. In 2018 a website called 76 crimes published the death of a Trans activist in Abuja with the name Rabina Bamanga who was killed in her own house. By 2020, the Guardian published the story of a Trans woman who escaped death by suicide after being exposed to conversion therapy which included incisions.
In a country like Nigeria, where transphobia is an appreciated feat and TERFs won’t stop making excuses for their own transphobia. Transwomen see each day through “what it takes to see the next day” and not living as they should, walking the streets of Nigeria with high hopes of “passing”, without anyone at the bus-stop having to ask if they are a man or a woman.
This tweep in her thread lined out what it takes to survives the streets of Nigeria as a Trans Woman living in Nigeria or West Africa.
With the twitter thread having up to 10 things to keep themselves (transwomen) safe in Nigeria or West Africa, one is forced to ask how best do anyone who is queer stay safe in Nigeria ? This is the reality of underprivileged queer folx in Nigeria, who don’t have the resources to live in spaces where they can exist without exposure to harm.
Transwomen GoFund me from twitter you might want to support !!!
At the end of the pandemic’s first wave, the Nigerian queer creative space experienced a burst of diversity in content production, where more queer identifying creatives create queer narrating contents in every form. Exploring forms like Vlogging on Youtube, Podcasting, Writing, Photography, Fashion, Instagram Influencing, microblogging, and Music, etc. With a not so unfamiliar voice, the Nigerian queer twitter sphere have been enjoying the closest we can get to having our own radio station.
popularly known on the Queer twitter spaces as Faeyfaeyy or Faeyrea godbaby, the host of Nigeria’s Colored online Radio. Faey described the niche of what he does using the Twitter audio features as “Queer radio”, the host of the 10 episodes Q- Reflection podcasts, who in recent times also hosts “High as Fuck” podcast with his best friend, Mitini. Faey describes himself as “Eccentric” because “I like to tread the paths that many shy away from or are too afraid to walk”.
Faey calls the podcast “a feel-good podcast where we banter and share hilarious takes on trending Twitter gist”. The serial Audiophile and Voice Over artiste described the how personal the work at the Colored Online Radio is to him, he said “Realizing that I didn’t have an existing audience made me see a need to narrow my focus and choose a content niche I could own. In this case, my content focuses on using a radio format to appeal to queer people and their choices regardless of their taste and preferences in entertainment”.
Came into the queer twitter space with this tweet by Faey on twitter, where he allowed his imagination fly high and wide.
Imagine we had an LGBT radio. To help your imagination I played with a little something @Blaise_21 @kito_diaries @AdaezeFeyisayo @alaafinofEko @THETemmieOvwasa @Dgod_Zeus @Dennis_Macaulay @JamesLantern2 @vicw0nder @cabrini_divo @raldieyoung
Originally tweeted by Faeyrea godbaby (@faeyfaeyy) on February 4, 2021.
Faey who understands how the Nigerian creative industry works, the amount of homophobia in there, and Nigeria at large, claimed not to have experienced any backlash yet, but is hoping if it would ever happen, it should with the barest stress. Production of queer contents in Nigeria can be tasking as “access to quality recording equipment is a huge challenge. The right studio equipment such as microphones, mixers laptops, and a soundproof space for recording does not come cheap. At this point, I have to resort to tedious and time-consuming methods to produce content. Having other people join in presenting, content creating, and producing would be wonderful and allow Coloured TV to be more consistent. All of these problems have one major solution, funding” he said.
Imagine we (Nigerians) had an LGBT radio. To help your imagination..FaeyFaeyy
Faey Faey said “in the weeks that will follow, I’ll start an Online WhatsApp Radio. (You’re hearing this first) and in the coming months, I hope to launch an online radio proper that would transmit uninterrupted”.
Investors, and partners willing to work with Faey to acheive this feat of an uninterrupted, online, queer radio could reach out to him via his socials. (@faeyfaeyy) or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You could check out other works by Faey via instagram (@faeyfaey)