A journalist in Ghana revealed he was gay in a live Zoom interview. Ignatius Annor of Euronews English made the stunning revelation on a panel discussion with moderator Ayisha Ibrahim for JoyNews on the topic of the LGBTQ+ community in the African nation. Annor revealed that he stayed in the closet because he feared coming out would cause him to lose his job. Ghana outlaws same-sex sexual relations and does not recognize marriage equality.
“This is going to be the very first time that I’m using your medium to say that not only am I an activist for the rights of African sexual minorities, what you would call the LGBTQI community, but I am gay,” he revealed. “It is the truth that I have accepted, it is the truth that I will live by,”
Annor prefaced his remarks by noting that for some viewers his sexual orientation “might sound contradictory because in the past I had denied my truth, I had denied the fact that I was gay.”
The Republic of Ghana outlaws “unnatural carnal knowledge” which authorities interpret as “penile penetration of anything other than a vagina” under section 104 of the Criminal Code from 1960. It also does not recognize marriage equality or same-sex domestic partnerships. Minister for Information-Designate, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah recently proposed legislation outlawing the advocacy of LGBT+ activities, saying the move would be “in the interest of public morality.”
Annon said he later denied his sexual orientation repeatedly while working as a journalist for a television station in Accra for fear of losing his job but also the personal toll of such an admission. He went on to give a heartbreaking account of coming out to his mother, who vowed to pray for him because she believed he was possessed by a demon.
“I remember the following day, she came to say, ‘I have not been able to sleep because of what you told me’ and I could feel her pain because she thought I was going to put my life in danger for what others are facing particularly being a TV person and being suspected of being gay and not openly saying it,” Annor revealed.
“I remember telling her she should forget I said that to her.” he said, revealing he made the request so his mother “could have the peace that she needs.”
Annor now intends to live his life openly as a gay man.
“I have lived a life of lies; I have lived a double life and no human being deserves to do that and to have accepted that truth and live the freedom that I live today, I am a very content person today.