One Trans Woman’s Fight Against a Bill That Would Criminalise Ghana’s LGBT+ Community

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02/03/2022

In a dimly-lit room with racks of women’s clothing, Ghanaian artist and LGBT+ activist Va-Bene Elikem Fiatsi flipped through photo self-portraits illustrating her transition to womanhood. Transitioning is not illegal in Ghana, but it will become so if a new law is passed, intended to tighten already strict anti-LGBT+ regulations which render same-sex relations illegal. Homophobia is pervasive in the West African country and trans people are generally considered to be gay. Fiatsi first exhibited the photographs, dubbed “Rituals of Becoming”, in 2017. Supportive audiences flocked to see the show in Ghanaian galleries. Her work reflects how LGBT+ people in Ghana have navigated legal and social constraints to carve out a space to express their identities.

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