The announcement of any new identity, ideally, should not cause a stir.

However, in Ghana, the announcement of an identity in relation with the LGBTQI+ community would be met with…a pause.

Because no matter how open-minded the Ghanaian parent is, the cultural foundation embedded in their innermost self, will take a while to digest any news about LGBTQI+ that, their culturally born and bred child would give them.

Ghanaian culture and society abhors the very idea of homosexuality and its associated identities. In Ghanaian culture, a man is a man and can never be a woman. So is a woman a woman thus can never be a man. Family values; marriage is built on the very idea of man meets woman, as such, LGBTQI+ is seriously frowned upon.

We’re in Ghana, a country that has adapted, incorporated and abolished so many acts over the years as a result of globalization. But today, some Ghanaians, and I daresay a majority, with every ounce of will power and an understanding they have on their sovereignty, shake the sparkles of LGBTQI+ and dust them off on the shores of the West.

Today, our parents tell a tale, a tale of division on the LGBTQI+ community. On the surface of family values, the LGBTQI+ community pushes a question of how much you love your child and how far and near does that love go.

The mother of Angel Maxine, who is transgender, tells a tale of a supportive mother, but her support was preceded with a pause.

According to the mother, she is Christian and her husband is a Reverend Minister. Therefore, it was not easy accepting her son who now identifies as a woman.

In a video posted on social media, the mother is seen passionately advocating for a space for her son who has turned into a daughter, stating that she has accepted Maxine as what God gave to her.

She goes on to ask other parents if they have tried to find out who their children really are.

It may sound strange, but cultural change may hit slowly. Some may cling to the change quickly and throw culture away for a second. This is Angel Maxine’s mother’s tale of love. This is how far she loves her child and for any other parent in her shoes, acceptance is equated to the boundless love she has for a child.

This tale holds a love so unique in a space where the “uniqueness” of the LGBTQI+ community isn’t appreciated.

Another tale, perhaps a more horrid tale of parents is that of those who absolutely hate the very idea that their children belong to the LGBTQI+ community.

Such parents would throw you out, banish you, join in disgracing you and totally wash their hands off any child of theirs who identifies with the community. And if you are not a part of the community, but a sympathizer, you better keep mute around them lest you are hit with a full lecture on morality and the will of God or like a woman in a Human Rights Watch report from 2018, you may be sacked from home for associating with them.  

These parents tell the tale of rejection. And if you come out of the closet in front of such a person, the response you get would be a double long pause…,… and then a full on “herh Kwame!” That is, if you’re on the “elite” side of Ghana.

But if you are from the typical cultural Ghanaian home, be it rural or urban, the “Awurade!” followed by wailing and shouts of enemies having a hold of the said parent would leave you feeling dejected and rejected even before the emphatic leave my house or “I wash my hands off you” is said.

No amount of explanation would clear up the blurry line between the love of the parent for the child and the feeling of failure on the part of the parent because the child just leapt outside the box of the culture and value he was brought up with.

These two different tales show a clear division of, for or against.

The tale of the parents who belong to the against category, goes beyond disbelief and wailing after the pause. It transcends verbal and physical abuse. In extreme cases, parents walk their LGBTQI+ children through the psychological journey of exorcism while some are forcefully made to marry somebody of the opposite sex no matter what.

For some parents, it’s a tale of indifference. They don’t hate, neither do they love. Their reaction more often than not, is to save face. Eventually, these parents let go of their indifference and push their children to marry the opposite sex in order to save themselves. Because they are conscious of the society they live in and understand that, their wards would not be accepted.

Now, other parents may have another tale to tell on the anti-LGBTQI+ bill parliament wants to pass, but according to Araba Forson, mother of  transgender, Angel Maxine, the bill is wrong and is only to target homosexuals and rob them off their freedom.

In a video, she hurls unprintable words at Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, Sam George, the law maker at the forefront of the fight for the anti-LGBTQ bill.

For every person for or against, half of those populations are parents. Some may have children who don’t identify with the community. Others may have children who do. Some may also have children who are sympathizers of the community.

All these parents, share different tales, but the common ground they all share, is the fact that, they love their children and want what is best, what they think is best for them.



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