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Opinions of Thursday, 14 September 2006

Columnist: Afari, Sena

The Ghanaian Gay - Looking Objectives at the Causes

The passage of time which essentially is the passage of time makes many realize how they have metamorphosed into people they’d rather not be – mine and that of an increasing many in this nation: homosexuals! For us to adequately tackle this issue which has hit the airwaves recently in Ghana, we need to look objectively at the causes and the way forward instead of hiding behind superstitions that will land us nowhere.

A primary cause of homosexuality is nurture and not nature as many gays think it is. I am convinced, through my own experiences in the dark alleys of homosexuality, that many are gay because of nurture, or rather the lack of it. Ghana is gradually becoming like the Western World where the role of the Father is failing. Many fatherless children are left to the fate and their peers to be socialized. How can the blind lead the blind?

Children at a point in their development need a fatherly role to which they can bond in an asexual way. An absence of this coupled with the increasing domineering role of women/mothers does more harm than good. Psychology proves sufficiently that this need for same-sex love is legitimate. The absence of it at the right stage of development and the meeting of this need in a sexual way is where the whole problem is! The children, are left to explore and for quite a number the resulting eroticizing of these legitimate desires for same-sex love, to wit, homosexuality. For the Christian, Scripture charges us to “train up a child the way he should go and when he grows he will not depart from it.” Children, these days, spend more time in school than with their parents. They are left to their friends and playmates/others to be socialized. The home has almost failed as the primary agent of socializing.

In Ghana, one cannot talk about vice without the mention of the devil. “The devil/satan made me do it,” is echoed in many courts in response to charges of rape, defilement, etc. Demonic/Satanic influence cannot be ruled out totally as a factor contributing to homosexuality. Through mind-controlling spirits and other demonic activity, the devil and his agents pass various temptations by us that can culminate in our satisfying those desires. Even after prayers, some (not all) still grapple with this problem. Why? They have as a habit lived in a certain way and it will take the grace of God, time and commitment to effect the necessary behavioural changes.

Another rather fascinating group is those I call the “adventure group.” For whatever reason, they’re simply bored with heterosexual sex. They want to “try something new.” In this world of many alternative lifestyles, one cannot just fathom what we will try in order to gratify ourselves. These are the most interesting group for me. I still look forward to engaging one in conversation to find their motivations. I think however that these will be easier to deal with the in the process of reversal to heterosexuality.

Closely tied to these is the next group who are gay because of economic reasons. I have personally had the opportunity to interview people as young as 16 who are practising gays because their parents are not able to provide their needs or have neglected them or have passed away. These ones are normally recruited by the “big men” and in some cases “expatriates” to whom they offer their services. In one such enclave, the hope is that they will be “whisked away” by “Prince Charming/the Rich Prince” so all their financial woes will end. These children normally start out in the active/king roles and gradually are trained to become queens/passive/versatile. These are “gay terminologies” that’ll require some explaining. I say again that: THE NEGLECTS OF OUR PAST HAVE BECOME THE REJECTS OF OUR PRESENT.

The final cause for an increasing many in the gay world is nature as opposed to nurture in my first cause. For me, the height of my gay orientation was when I came to the conclusion that “I was born this way.” Nothing I did seemed to change anything. This is a threshold beyond which many are crossing. It gives the person the “license to sin/indulge.” They feel God made them that way and they should not reject it. I strongly do not believe this and think it is the result of not identifying the true reason behind their gayness.

Simon Levay and Bailley and Pillard tried hard to prove the “I was born this way” theory by conducting various experiments – hypothalamus experiments among a host of others. They were pretty disappointed when they realized it was impossible to prove that being gay was the result of “biological wiring.” In fact they ended up proving the exact opposite of what they set out to prove and they were wise enough to concede defeat. Mind you, they were all gay and were looking for ways to justify their inclinations.

Irrespective of cause, most have their first exposure in their teens and early 20s and sometimes later. The “biological confusion/trauma” especially for those victims of abuse cannot be handled for the especially young. This means that the issue must be handled at this basic level. Sexuality is left for kids to discover and this must change.

To continue being prudish as country is to give accent to our children to experiment with anything. A 16 year old in a dysfunctional home said “he doesn’t know but he’s gay.” This same guy on further interrogation could not tell the difference between masturbation and nocturnal emissions! How can he decide that he is gay or even ready for sex? Forgive my brusqueness but this one was educated (in SSS 1). What about the many illiterate/semi-literate who’ve never had a Social Studies class to even know what homosexuality is!! I stand again with Dr. Dela Attipoe, a tremendous author on the subject that “denial or wishing it away is not the solution to the problem.” We did the same with pre-marital sex, pornography, voyeurism, masturbation, etc and we have HIV/AIDS on the ascendency to show for it.

Unless we properly set up our homes and socialize our children, this ravenous wolf will tear them up like the sheep in the classic Aesop Fable and all our cries of “wolf” will not save!

The current gay has become the 21st century leper, banished to the closet of pain, despair and separation. Many are torn and need genuine help to break through yet they cannot find willing ears to listen; hearts to love them as they are and words to encourage them to be who they ought to be. We must remember that we can only influence these people from close up. Even the phrase “these people” degrades them. I am convinced that change is possible. It has been a hard and long road for me and continues to be. Change for anyone isn’t going to be easy!

Come along and join me in the fight to give the Ghanaian gay men that chance to live and to change because change is possible.


The Papacy
Director, LEHOH Foundation
September 01, 2006

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.