On the 24th of February, a safe space for the LGBT+ community in Accra, established by LGBT+ Rights Ghana was raided and shut down by the police, leading to an uproar on social media, with many speaking up for the community and demanding inclusivity for all.
Reacting to the raid, the LGBT+ Rights Ghana took to Twitter to say that “While this unfortunate incident has happened, we wish to encourage all our members, and queer Ghanaians to stay calm. Do not panic. We will triumph. The police may have raided our office and closed it down but the real office is in our hearts and minds. To all our allies and supporters, thank you. #LetItBeKnown #LGBTRightsInGhana”.
Following the incident, several organizations, as well as national and international public figures, came together to write an open letter requesting that the LGBTQIA+ family in Ghana be treated equally. The letter assured the community that “We see and we hear you. We are in awe of your strength, your bravery and your audacity to be true to who you are even when it is dangerous to do so.”
“In recent weeks we have watched with profound concern as you have had to question the safety of your viral work at the ‘LGBT+ Rights Ghana’ centre in Accra, and feared for your personal well being and security. It is unacceptable to us that you feel unsafe,” the letter read, going on to encourage the community that neither the recent raid nor any other act of “intimidation” are capable of breaking “your indomitable spirits”
The letter which was signed by over 50 celebrities including Idris and Sabrina Elba, Naomi Campbell, Jidenna, Yvonne Orji, Virgil Abloh, Joshua Kissi, Adwoa Aboah and organizations like UK Black Pride, Studio 189 and Orijin Culture petitioned for inclusivity while imploring Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo and political /cultural leaders to “reach out and engage in a meaningful and purposeful dialogue with the LGBTQIA+ community leaders to create a pathway for allyship, protection and support.”
Also showing his support is the Editor-In-Chief at British Vogue, Edwards Enninful who shared a post on Instagram with the caption, “The events of recent weeks in Ghana have been harrowing to witness, and I want all those in the LGBTQIA+ community in Ghana to know that I and my fellow signees – 66 allies, Ghanaians and non Ghanaians – stand alongside you in the fight for safety, fairness and equal rights for all. #Ghanasupportsequality”.
In conclusion, the letter stated, “All of us have a special place in our hearts for Ghana, and we firmly believe in the best of it and for it. Ghana is a welcoming smile, a proud country of friendship, a nation of cultural integrity…but above all, Ghana is the definition of Akwaaba. Let us ensure that we live up to its fullest meaning (Welcome) for all.”
While this unfortunate incident has happened, we wish to encourage all our members, and queer Ghanaians to stay calm. Do not panic.
We will triumph.
The police may have raided our office, and closed it down but the real office, is in our hearts, and minds.#LETITBEKNOWN pic.twitter.com/dyYktKsa7x
— LGBT+ Rights Ghana (@LGBTRightsGhana) February 24, 2021
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
— OkayAfrica (@OkayAfrica) March 1, 2021
We stand in solidarity with the LGBQT+ people in Ghana who are currently experiencing violence sanctioned by the state. Please consider donating to this fund which will directly support the Ghanaian LGBQT+ community. #GhanaianQueerLivesMatter https://t.co/jkwLJgh0aJ
— INEND (@INENDorg) March 1, 2021
In the face of the recent escalation of homophobic violence, the Young Feminist Collective reiterates our unequivocal, unconditional support for queer Ghanaians everywhere. We stand with you & @LGBTRightsGhana #QueerGhanaianLivesMatter
Full statement below: pic.twitter.com/C1ySwMxaOa
— Young Feminist Collective (@youngafrifem) February 25, 2021
— OutRight (@OutRightIntl) February 25, 2021