The Copenhagen Pride Solidarity Fund started in 2018 as an initiative to provide financial aid to LGBTI+ activists all around the world. Earlier this year, we received an application on behalf of the organization LGBT+ Rights Ghana, and we are proud to announce that we are donating 3.000 Euro to support their important work.
LGBT+ Rights Ghana started as a cyber activist initiative in a WhatsApp group in 2018. Soon it became clear that the movement needed real faces that could step up and work against the persistent false narratives about queer people, grounded in ignorance and LGBTI+ phobia. Their programs department has an initiative called Here&Beyond, and they are currently planning several Pride events throughout the month of June. This is what the funds from the Solidarity Fund will go to.
Colonial anti-LGBTI+ legacy
Ghana has been known as a queer-friendly travel destination for a couple of decades, but in recent years the political situation in the country has taken a sharp turn for the worse.
The current LGBTI+ legislation in Ghana still has the wording inherited from the British while Ghana was under colonial rule. Sexual acts between persons of the same gender is technically criminal, but the law has not been enforced and the queer community has been thriving with queer bars and events.
In the summer of 2021, a group of MPs introduced a draconian anti-LGBTI+ bill that, if passed, would make it near impossible to be queer in Ghana. The bill would criminalize LGBTI+ identity, potentially enforce corrective surgery for intersex people, strike down on allies and activists, and enforce a duty to report people you know to be LGBTI+. The Ghanaian MPs that introduced the bill co-wrote it together with an American far-right NGO, and still, to this day, American and European aid is flowing into churches in Ghana that are campaigning in support of the anti-LGBTI+ law.
Even though the bill has not yet been passed, it has had severe consequences for the community. People are being targeted on the street, blackmailed, thrown out of their houses, and refused medical treatment. The acute needs in the community are many. And all in-person events require expensive security services and secluded venues to protect participants.
Denmark and Ghana also have a long history together. Denmark colonized Ghana back when it was called the Gold Coast, and the colonization has left many marks on the country, such as the prevalence of LGBTI+ phobia and discrimination.
At Copenhagen Pride, we are in awe of the work LGBTI+ Rights Ghana are putting into creating safer spaces for their community. We are happy to be able to support their project while we also call on the international community to condemn the anti LGBTI+ bill and stop it before it comes into effect.
- Interview with Alex Kofi Donkor, the Director of LGBT+ Rights Ghana
- Interview with Abdul-Wadud Mohammed, the Communications Director from LGBT+ Right Ghana about the early days of the organization
- Interview with Dennis Kwaku Frimpong Agyemang (nicknamed Owuraku) about LGBT+ Rights Ghana’s Welfare Department
- Interview with Tracy Owoo, the Programs Director at LGBT+ Rights Ghana