Tuesday, June 14th, 2016, Me and a friend, who is Ghanaian, were scrolling through my pictures on Facebook. We passed some comments from women that read: “I love you baby girl,” “That’s my girl,” etc. We also scrolled passed pictures were I kissed a friend on her cheek, or vice versa. His immediate response, which he whispered, was, “Is she a lesbian? like is she.. gay?” I thought about two things when he asked this question. One, why are you whispering? Two, why do a kiss on the cheek and an “I love you” make you a homosexual? It was becoming apparent to me that Ghana is so Anti-gay that the conversations about it do not happen.
The following day, Monday, June 13, my phone went off with notifications from CNN and Fox 5 news. The notifications read, “Orlando Shooting at LGBT nightclub.” I read the title and did not read about it. I don’t know if this was more because nightclub shootings were becoming common for me, or was it that I didn’t want to hear that someone I knew could’ve been there. This incident bothered me a lot not only because people were killed, but the place where I currently am located, Cape Coast, is anti-gay. The same day, I caught a taxi into town and on his dashboard was a sticker. The sticker read: “Avoid Homosexuality. Protect Ghana and Save the World from Destruction. Also, Legalization encourages homosexuality, spread HIV/AIDS, Hep B, and would destroy family foundations. Host: Apostle X.” So many questions were flooding my mind. Why is this “apostle” not guiding, but condemning? Why was man proclaiming this? Why is an Apostle bashing gays? How can a “man of God” judge one’s sins as if he never sinned? Why is this more of an act of hate not love?
I read about Patience Carter and Eddie Justice, victims of the Orlando Shooting. Both stories weighed on my heart heavy. Carter, a survivor, spoke on how she felt unlucky but lucky. She, unlike Justice, was able to make it out. She described how she felt guilty that she could feel the pain in her legs because the others that dead couldn’t. Some of Justice last words to his mother, “I love you. I am gonna die.” Yet, I am in a country that being homosexual is illegal and a crime. What bothers me most is if this shooting occurred here in Cape Coast it would be praised by the schools, government, and churches. But at the same time, I do not understand how these religious people can practice such hate. Mark 12:31 states, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” It is puzzling. I am a Christian, but I am not going to hate or condemn or judge a person for their sexual relations. No, I am not promoting it, but from my understanding of the bible, God loves all people no matter how big or small the sin. Ghana a place where religion is present in every aspect of life, I question why are they practicing hate towards a particular group of people.
My heart is weighed down by the Orlando shooting, but somehow I am glad it didn’t occur in Cape Coast.