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Being a gay black man...

“Being a gay black man... I think that has been my struggle. And being from Ghana because my family somehow doesn’t know I’m gay. They know it, but they don't want to admit it, and because of that, I don’t want them to come to that truth because of the pain that the truth will unleash on them. So that has been my biggest struggle, but also being black in a country where I did not know I was black. Because I am from Ghana originally, I never thought of myself as a black person until I came to the US. It has been a struggle navigating being black and gay in a country that holds onto legacies of homophobia, and also legacies of anti-blackness and legacies of anti-African and anti-immigrant. These all combined become such a huge struggle for me and so many people too. Being a black gay man in the US is so difficult, but being a gay man in Ghana is also very complex. I came from Ghana in 2007. I was happy to come here because I could be gay, but in Ghana, I could not. I was raised Christian, and I had been taught by my church that being gay was a sin, so I faced this paradox of not wanting to come to America, but on the other hand, I wanted to flee this disgust, this way of pretending not to be gay and pretending to be Christian. Coming to America, I was excited about the sexual liberation that being here would afford me which I couldn’t get in Ghana. But coming to America somehow pushed me into another prison of blackness. So I escaped one oppression to enter another, and that is what this experience has come to mean to me."

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