LGBTQI fashion designer, Daniel Lismore, launches GoFundMe to raise crucial funds for a lesbian escaping danger in Ghana 

BY DIVA STAFF

Still facing a long road ahead before achieving equality for LGBTQI individuals, Ghana’s current stance on LGBTQI rights is one that is rife with discrimination, one where same-sex relationships are illegal and where abuse against the LGBTQI community has been intensifying in recent years, fuelled by anti-gay campaigners. 

Just last week a community centre for LGBTQI people in the west African country closed its doors after pressure was built by religious groups and anti-gay organisations against the community. Police later raided the centre its staff said, after its leaders were forced into hiding.

Some of the UK’s most prominent people of Ghanaian heritage have joined together to take a stand against this act in an open letter tagged #GhanaSupportsEquality. Idris Elba, Naomi Campbell, and Edward Enninful were among the Black celebrities who have come out in support of the LGBTQI community in Ghana, signing the letter to say that they were deeply disturbed by the events and called on Ghana’s president, Nana Akufo-Addo, and other political leaders to offer protection to the LGBTQI community.

Today, LGBTQI fashion designer Daniel Lismore has showed his support of the people suffering in Ghana by setting up a GoFundMe for one woman in particular who is determined to escape the danger she faces in her homeland. 

With the aim of raising £10,000, Daniel is supporting Yiko, a masculine presenting lesbian living in Ghana. In the fundraising page she tells her story: “Being raised in a Christian home by a strict father in a conservative and religious country had me suppressing my authentic self (gender expression and sexuality) and also praying away my sexuality because I was conditioned to believe it is a sin. Ghana also has a vague colonial law that is used to imprison homosexuals. Growing up I never knew any LGBTQ+ community members until 2017. In 2017, I met and made friends who are just like me but they had done a lot of work to accept themselves so they could affirm me.”

She continues: “Gradually, I also did the work of accepting and affirming myself even though I was closeted (I am still closeted though). It was amazing having a community but it was also emotionally and physically exhausting to exist outside of your small community. Later that year, I was outed because I became more visible on social media and in certain spaces.” 

Yiko has been sent to conversion therapy that left her suicidal, been made homeless, and both her mental and physical health is the worst it has ever been. As a result of the violence against the community and the recent closure of the LGBTQI community centre, Yiko has no other choice than to flee and find a safe home where she can work and live without fear. 

CLICK HERE to donate and show your support if you can help Yiko today. 

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