On March 1, a number of celebrities banded together to publish an open letter calling for the LGBTQIA+ community in Ghana to be treated equally. They addressed citizens directly, writing, “We see you and we hear you.”
“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’ center in Accra, and feared for your personal well being and security,” the text continued. In late February 2021, a safe space for the LGBT+ community to gather was established in Accra, Ghana’s capital, by LGBT+ Rights Ghana, but according to a tweet from the organization, it was raided by police on February 24 and shut down. The Guardian also reports that they were facing piling pushback from religious groups and anti-gay organizations.
The document also specifically asked for the president of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, and other leaders in the political sphere to provide the LGBTQ+ community with protection.
Edward Ennuiful, the editor-in-chief of British Vogue, was among those who signed the letter and posted additional notes regarding the missive to his Instagram on March 1.
“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, Ghanians and non Ghanians – stand alongside you in the fight for safety, fairness and equal rights for all,” he wrote to his over 1 million followers.
The letter was supported by notable cultural figures including: Virgil Abloh (designer), Adwoa Aboah (model), Naomi Campbell (model), Idris Elba (actor), Jidenna (musician), Joshua Kissi (photographer), Yvonne Orji (actress) and more.
“Ghana is a welcoming smile, a proud country of friendship, a nation of cultural integrity…but above all, Ghana is the definition of Akwaaba [which means ‘welcome’],” the letter ended.
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