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Opinions of Wednesday, 25 October 2006

Columnist: Afari, Sena

All the 'Homo' Talk - gone forever?

August 24, 2006 marked the opening of the Pandora’s Box for the Gay and Lesbian community in Ghana. The President of the Gay and Lesbian association of Ghana was on Joy FM’s prestigious and well-patronized Super Morning show. I still have not figured out what motivated the station and host to discuss the issue. Was it the purported conference?

Following this has been a barrage of criticisms (some constructive and a great deal destructive) from various quarters - big and small. Most of the responses were not a surprise to me. This issue of homosexuality has struck a soft spot in my heart because of my experiences with it and what I see it is doing to many young men and women in our nation.

From cover page stories, to radio talk shows, to editorials to kitchen table discussions, the issue received accentuation. After close to 2 months, my question is this: IS THE HOMO TALK GONE FOREVER? Suddenly it seems there are more important issues to be discussed. Attention has been shifted to the next big thing.

Somehow, all this may have slighted the work of many well meaning organizations with the primary objective to helping strugglers deal with this problem in their lives. I admired some of text I read and simply thought some of it should never have seen publication. The truth be told, the problem pertains and just like PLWHAs we need to be more accepting, not of the gay lifestyle, but of the people and give them a chance to change by creating that environment. There are productive PLWHAs aren’t there?

Are we going to wait for August next year or when there is a scandal before the discussion surfaces again? I am not talking about those debates that land us nowhere. I am in no humorous mood today, as I always am. I have read the stories of and interviewed people and their struggles are real. Mine too was, until God through His Son Jesus Christ gave me the freedom I now enjoy. Nothing else cut it – not reading, not trying, repression or anything else. Barely a year ago when prostitutes were rounded up at Circle, we talked about it a bit and the issue died down. We are always looking for the newest and hottest thing to talk about. Issues that need to be addressed have been replaced by the hottest thing in town.

Parents, elder siblings, Pastors, teachers, workers, etc we need to start discussing sexuality at home, in Sunday School, at Youth meetings, in the classroom and at the office. Sex and sensuality, needless to say, are on the ascendency and the sooner we begin to deal with this issue the better. Most of those I have spoken to had their first homosexual encounter in their teens with a few in their early adulthood (early post-teen) years.

We need to begin to create an environment where children can walk up to their parents and discuss issues pertaining to sexuality. The prudishness must cease! Let’s stop leaving sexuality to them to discover. Our children and siblings are watching porn, masturbating and are engaged in all sorts of sexual acts right under our roofs. Some parents have their suspicions and others aren’t the least bit aware. Sex is nothing to be toyed with and 10 years of struggling with same-sex inclinations has proven this to me!

I crave the indulgence of parents: let us not, in a bid to provide for our children, neglect the attention they also need. School and friends who know no better are socializing our children. Let’s watch who they are with and what they are doing. Let’s encourage them to develop positive self-worth and let them know sex is ok but only in the properly defined context of marriage and with a person of the opposite sex! Just as aberrations from heterosexual sex were not properly handled in the family and national setting, the problem of homosexuality left unaddressed will exacerbate till one morning we wake up to a new and even more complex perversion.

Let’s open the debate in our schools, let’s preach it in our pulpits. Only Jesus Christ can set one truly free from the effects of sin, especially sexual sin and homosexuality. This is a plea that we stop all the empty talk and act together in a responsible manner in a bid to address this lastingly. I have propounded solutions in an earlier article I wrote but many missed the point. Killing all the homosexuals as someone suggested the last time is not the solution. Even God cleared Sodom and Gomorrah and what do we see? He cleared the earth again in Noah’s ark and we still have sin to deal with. Friends and country men Jesus is the only solution to this problem and unless we take it to Him in prayer, talk about and deal with this head-on, what we are pushing and have pushed into the background is exactly what will surface as the cancer to consume us.

Tears flood my eyes as I remember the stories of 16 year olds and the ordeals they have to go through in a bid to make money from the homosexual trade. I am devastated when I remember my own confusion about who I truly was and where I could find help without being stigmatized. I am absolutely broken when I look remember the many who are choosing this lifestyle as an alternative to making money. Many are torn emotionally and find themselves in the clutches of same-sex relationships in a bid to satisfy their desires and dull their senses. The stories are true and the incidents real. Each day comes with another startling discovery. Let’s stop the pretense and commit it to prayer and take positive loving action and God will show save us. Before you dismiss this as hogwash remember that that person could be your husband, brother, son, daughter, nephew, niece, uncle or aunt!

The “homo” talk may be gone off the air but please make the difference in your small world by educating your children, siblings or congregation. God bless you!



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