Feature Article of Friday, 17 August 2012
Columnist: Boham, Samuel Nii Adjei
It's nothing new: As much as the Pastors and their NPP supporters like to protest against homosexuality and our Vice President's sexuality, they must realise they can’t make it disappear. The religious leaders and the opposition party,NPP should leave homosexuals, gays, nobs, back stabbers, what ever you like to call us and our vice president ALONE and allow people to be who they want to be. I have decided to come out of the closet as a long time gay Ghanaian in support of our new vice president and gay community in Ghana. It's about time Ghanaians, our religious leaders and the NPP recognise the importance of being understood, valued, and advocate basic human rights. Any educated person must see the importance of decrying such intolerant and ignorant protests about our Vice President and the gay community in Ghana. Understanding LGBT rights is not only about letting people live the way they want to live – it also represents a certain necessary degree of change in the mentality of the people in Ghana . This awareness can help us build a society that is more tolerant and accepting. We need to learn the “live-and-let-live” way of life. We need to learn that people’s sexual lives are private. And as part of this, we must accept the medical evidence that homosexuality is neither an illness nor something that can be treated. It is biologically determined.
As much as the so called pastors or prophets and the NPP like to protest against the sexuality of our Vice President, they must realise they can’t make it disappear. Why force him and people to lead double lives? Prejudice and paranoia drive people to lie to their families, to be ashamed of who they are and become depressed. As a self confessed gay and as someone who is familiar with Arthur and other senior gay politicians in both Ghana and UK, I have physically punish my self by leading a double life and lies. Generally in Ghana, people attack homosexuality because it goes against their religious beliefs. However, this is no excuse to go around bashing our Vice President and people for feeling a certain way. In fact, doesn’t religion preach the ideas of peace and tolerance? So while homosexuality is not looked at in a positive light from the religious point of view, that does not give people the right to treat homosexuals as if they are not an equal part of our society. If different races can be accepted, then different sexualities can be accepted too. The very act of intolerance is not encouraged by religion. Homophobia seems not just philosophically inconsistent with the idea of a peaceful religion and a loving God but also is a clear source of severe pain and suffering for gay people like my self, our Vice President and people everywhere.
So what if our Vice President is gay, homosexual, or a back stabber , what ever you like to call it. I know some of you gays reading this article are either saying or thinking it's a bold move to broach such a personal and controversial topic in such a public forum, knowing just how intolerant and insensitive Ghanaian society is about homosexuality. “Homosexuality can be treated by proper therapy, [sic] I recommend you check it online. Research concludes that this is not genetic or inherent, and in many cases has been treated. I’m sorry about the way you feel considering your religious inclination. It must be hell.” Suggesting ‘anti-gay’ or ‘reform’ therapy might be vaguely well intentioned, but it pushes the idea that there is something ‘wrong’ with gay people and they must ‘change’ it. This exacerbates their feelings of guilt. Meanwhile, such treatment usually leads to self-loathing and repression, which in turn have inspired tragedies ranging from depression to suicide.
It’s sad how people think they have the right to decide other people’s lives for them. We all need to let those who are gay be true to themselves – in peace. They harm no one. Even if you don’t accept homosexuality, you must learn to live with it: learn to live with the truth that there are people around us who have different perspectives and a different way of life – it may be as different as communism and capitalism, but it is still a way of life. Long live our Vice President Amissah Arthur, the first gay Vice President of Africa! Long the gay movement in Ghana!
Thank you NDC for supporting Gays and Lesbians in Ghana!!!!!!!!!
Samuel Nii Adjei Boham
Oil and Gas Student
Strathclyde University UK 07466901728