A Ghanaian journalist with Euro News, Ignatius Annor, has admitted that he is a homosexual and has over the years denied his sexuality for fear of stigmatization.
“This is going to be the very first time, using your medium, to say that not only am I an activist for the rights of African sexual minorities [LGBTQ+] but I am gay – it is the truth that I have accepted, it is the truth that I will live by,” the former Metro TV journalist said on PM Express on Joy News.
According to Annor, in the past, he had denied being gay because of the fear of losing his career, recalling the pain he had to endure after being ousted from his broadcasting job in Ghana because the suspicion about him being gay then became heightened.
Ignatius Annor said after studying for his Masters in the UK, he came back to Ghana looking for employment but none of the media houses was willing to hire him “just because of the stigma that surrounds the gay community”.
He described the stigmatization against gay people as “dehumanizing and awful” saying that it does not feel okay for anybody to admit that he is gay and walk freely in Ghana or have access to employment or other social amenities.
“All we are asking for is to be allowed to live freely like any other person in our country without the stigma,” he said. “I want Ghanaians to have an honest conversation about people who live in your families, people who are your brothers and sisters and see that these are human beings that deserve to have the very life you have and…to be free and go about their normal activities.”
Asked how his family feels about his admission of being gay, Ignatius Annor said on his return from UK in 2017, he told his mother first that he was gay and his mom said she had heard a preacher say being gay is demonic so she was going to cast out the demon from him.
“When I heard that from my mom it was very painful but I understood where she was coming from,” he said. “That was not her own idea; it was what [had] been repeatedly fed into the minds of people. So, my mom, three years ago was not accepting of it. 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.
I remember telling her she should forget I said that to her. I said that so that she could have the peace that she needs but at 32 years old today, 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,” Ignatius Annor narrated further.
He said since he told his mom that she should forget that he said he was gay to her, they have never spoken about his sexuality again.
Annor admitted that throughout his denial, he let down his community just because he did not have the courage to own up to the truth and live it and he, therefore, apologized for it.