A queer person has detailed an abuse and public humiliation he and another “effeminate guy” experienced from a street preacher at Circle, a busy commercial transport area, in Ghana’s capital Accra, on Tuesday, November 15, 2022.
Sharing his story on Twitter, the 25-year-old man wrote that “today, I feared for my life at Circle. For those who knows circle quite well, there’s a preacher at the bus stop where all cars from Kasoa, Kaneshie etc alights all passengers. He is closer to a woman who sells breakfast at that bus stop with huge and loud speakers.”
According to him, he was not the only “effeminate” man walking through that sidewalk during that Tuesday morning.
“So when I got down and was walking towards Vienna City side, apparently another very effeminate guy was in front of me,” he added.
Unprovoked, a street preacher who was standing in the area “started shouting “heyyy monhwɛ kojo besia foɔ no, y’edi ɔmo trumu saa. Nyankopɔn betua mo ka paa.”
In translation, the pastor said: “hey, look at those effeminate boys, [people have anal sex with them]. Our God will punish them.”
This is an example of how evangelical Christians use their religious beliefs to abuse, harass and discriminate against sexual and gender minorities.
“The other guy was with his junior brother who won’t be more than 6yrs of age,” the victim shared. This also reveals how this incident of harass and public humiliation also put a child in danger.
Also in the tweets, he recounted how he had “never been this scared for my life in such a long time. I don’t have the words to accurately describe how I felt. I wish it didn’t happen.”
He explained in a telephone interview with Rightify Ghana that “I didn’t know how people were going to react. This is Circle, a mob justice area. I feared some people would react violently and I may not have lived to explain myself. I was afraid.”
Whilst that place has been his usual route to his workplace, he has been forced to change it as part of immediate safety precautions.
This person who was just walking to his destination and the other “effeminate guy” who was walking with a child, had not committed any crime or attacked other people. But, the preacher attacked them unprovoked: verbally abused and humiliated them.
Being an effeminate man does not automatically mean a person is gay and being masculine or manly woman does not automatically make someone a lesbian.
Let’s stop these prejudices, bigotry, ignorance, stigma and discrimination.
Let’s stop putting people’s lives in danger for just being and living as who they are!