Case Study: Emmanuel Kwasi Kpornyo’s turmoil living as an LGBTQ+ in Ghana

By Philip NeeWhang 6 Min Read

In another heart-wrenching case highlighting the struggle faced by individuals persecuted due to their sexuality, Emmanuel Kwasi Kpornyo, a brave Ghanaian who identifies within the LGBTQ+ Spectrum finds himself caught in a web of danger, where his very existence is threatened. His desperate plea for a country to call home sheds light on the urgent need for compassion, understanding, and protective measures for those who face persecution based on their sexual orientation.

Emmanuel Kwasi Kpornyo’s story is emblematic of the harsh reality that many members of the LGBTQ+ community face in Ghana, where homosexuality remains legally unapproved and deeply stigmatized in society.

With the fear of persecution lurking at every corner, his mental and physical well-being hangs in the balance, and for many who share the same fate as Emmanuel Kwasi Kpornyo’s, suicide often becomes their only personal escape, but must this be the case for every individual who identifies as LGBTQ? Should a person’s sexual orientation continue to be the reason why a person should have to live a life with a target constantly at his/her back?

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Case Study: Emmanuel Kwasi Kpornyo's turmoil living as an LGBTQ+ in Ghana

As Mathew Rombach once said, “For some reasons, our culture influences us not to speak up.” Two of many personal quotes that have been among the mantras of TrenderHQ reads “I will stand up, I will speak out for not to offend but to defend” and “If you’re not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist?”

Emmanuel Kwasi Kpornyo grew up in the Volta Region of Ghana and as far as he could remember, has always been someone interested in both gender, a preference that most Ghanaians would consider as an abomination, right from an early age as recounted by him, he has always been laughed at, beaten by peers, mocked and spit on.

What made his plight even worse was when he once got kitoed and nearly got killed, the perpetrators filmed him and made him call his parents, forcing him to come out to them on the phone and requesting they come to this location to pick him up.

Upon their arrival, they joined and thanked the perpetrators for attacking their son and helping them discover that shameful and dark side of his. His coming out becomes the key genesis of his struggle within his very own home.

Emmanuel Kwasi Kpornyo shares the horror of abuses he went through at the hands of strangers and being pushed to live a castrated life as a heterosexual male, this continued and was forced to settle with a lady to keep face and avoid further embarrassment to his family who had already been prejudiced in society.

Emmanuel Kwasi Kpornyo now has two kids but that did not end his plight. He moves to the capital city away from the Volta Region to escape further damage to the mother of his children who had now noticed his full lack of interest in her but that became another loop of hell he had to endure, yearning to fully live his life as a male with desire for other males – an abominable act in the eyes of many now in the city, Emmanuel Kwasi Kpornyo finds himself building a sexual relationship with another man but situations turns even worse when he gets caught and beaten by local gangs for lack of a better word.

Having built a life in the capital city and having met another fate, Emmanuel Kwasi Kpornyo desperately searches for a place to call home, hoping and praying that Ghana would become a safe haven for him and his kind – Emmanuel Kwasi Kpornyo confessed his desire to move to a more tolerating country should he get the chance as he feels ‘unsound’ living in Ghana.

Despite Ghana’s reputation as a country with a vibrant cultural heritage with proof of loving citizens, the lived experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals often unfold in shadows, as they are subjected to discrimination, violence, and even the risk of loss of life. This arguably challenging environment forces individuals like Emmanuel Kwasi Kpornyo to make difficult decisions to safeguard their own survival and seek refuge in countries that offer protection and acceptance.

As we reflect on Emmanuel Kwasi Kpornyo’s story, we are compelled to confront our own biases and ask ourselves: How can we create a world where individuals can embrace their true selves without the fear of persecution? What steps can be taken to ensure that LGBTQ+ individuals have a safe haven, where their mental and physical well-being is valued and protected?

Emmanuel Kwasi Kpornyo’s plea for an inclusive environment serves as a reminder that the fight for equality and human rights must continue unabated. By championing inclusivity, understanding, and compassion, we can strive to create a world where every individual can flourish without fear, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity with legal scopes that aim to protect all citizens.

Credit: Sky Photo by Zane Lee on Unsplash

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