On January 31, 2021 a community center for LGBTQ+ individuals in Ghana opened its doors, shortly to be closed on February 24th. The center closed its doors after less than a month of being open due to riot outbreaks along with disapproval from government officials, who have clarified that same-sex relationships will remain illegal in the country.
Many people went to Twitter to express their thoughts on LGBTQ+ rights in the Ghanaian community after the breaking news of the centers shutdown. A mass of harmful messages have surfaced on the platform over the topic. People have tweeted that they will go so far as to ‘beat’ the members if same-sex relationships are legalized.
Even if LGBTQI or whatever is legalized and we see people of the same gender having sex, we will beat you. Kwasia
— 💎Fosty 5th March💎😈 (@KwasiNawil) February 22, 2021
Along with the violent tweets are trending hashtags that people are using to spread their hatred towards the LGBTQ community such as #StopLGBTinGhana
Gay and lesbianism is not part of our culture..
Moagyimi dodo #StopLGBTinGhana
— COMRADE SHARP 🇬🇭 (@ComradeSharp) February 17, 2021
— LL Hot J (@LLHotJ2) February 22, 2021
Although the tweets go against Twitter’s community guidelines, they still remain visible on the platform. Many people are outraged that the posts are still up along with multiple accounts on Twitter that are dedicated to stopping the LGBTQ community in Ghana that actively post harmful content. The widespread of homophobic tweets on Twitter is a concern for people and Twitters core values.
As more people weigh in on their beliefs, members of the LQBTQ community in Ghana are pleading for help and awareness for their rights.
Ghanaian YouTuber, Ama Governor, posted a video asking to ‘Send help please” after many LGBTQ members feel like their lives are in danger.
“Anything that slightly suggests that we are part of the community, we could be subjected to very cruel treatment,” Governor stated in her video.
“We are under attack I repeat we are under attack and we need all of the help that we can get please,” she pleaded.
Her video currently has 2.5k dislikes and 1.2k likes, along with an overwhelming amount of negative comments. Many suggest she is over exaggerating. Multiple comments state that “nobody” will kill anyone who is LQBTQ.
People have displayed their will to fight for the Ghanaian LGBTQ community on Twitter. The hashtag #LGBTRightsGhana and #QueerGhanaianKLivesMatter have been trending to show support.
— LGBT+ Rights Ghana (@LGBTRightsGhana) February 26, 2021
Black celebrities are urging for Ghana’s President, Nana Akufo-Addo, to step in and make a change for the countries LGBTQ community.
We have signed a letter calling on His Excellency, The President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, to reach out to LGBTQ leaders "to create a pathway for allyship, protection and support."
— UK BLACK PRIDE (@ukblackpride) March 1, 2021
Actors Idris Elba and Michaela Coel, and supermodel Naomi Campbell expressed their solidarity in an open letter hashtagged #GhanaSupportsEquality.
Along with the 67 signatures of the letter is British Vogue editor-in chief Edward Enninful, Netflix’s chief marketing officer Bozoma Saint John and Virgil Abloh, chief executive officer of Off White and the artistic director of Louis Vuitton.