Sierra Leone: Spat upon, I still became an LGBT activist

Published: July 9, 2013

In Sierra Leone, few are brave enough to advocate for gay rights, which would expose them to persecutions, threats, attacks, provocations and ridicule.
My work and activities with different local and international organisations had raised my awareness about people’s rights, especially gay rights.
But I only volunteered to fight for gay rights after the son of my elder brother was not only beaten but also lost an eye just because he was gay.
Following that ugly incident, I informed Abu Bakarr Renner, the national coordinator for the Kiwanis organization in Freetown, Sierra Leone. We decided to organise a gay awareness campaign, which was launched in December 2011. This campaign was to last for six months.
We never knew that we would come under heavy attack for advocating for gay rights. We were constantly abused, spat on, and sometimes assaulted by people who thought we were filthy, not normal, and immoral. We LGBT activists in Sierra Leone had to go into hiding to save ourselves from homophobic physical and verbal attacks.

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