One of the more threatening terms in the gay and trans community is domo arigato (thank you).
But in an online forum for Ghana’s LGBT community and related political groups, known as TransGhana, a page with the message “Homosexuals are traitors, yes? but LGBT activists…so they are actually traitors to their friends?” is the most frequently used insult, reflecting how far the country’s most vocal rights advocates may be from having worked on behalf of their liberal values.
But some anti-gay commentators may be their own worst enemies.
Since activist Webster Agyarko was arrested, held and charged with promoting sexual orientation and gender identity among minors earlier this month, Sen. Andrew Waddell, of North Carolina, has been credited with having “prevented a gay black man from getting murdered in a the West African country in recent weeks,” in a widely read tweet.
Waddell told the Post he had only made the repost out of friendship, saying he wanted to calm growing fears of the cyber-activists. He did say, however, that he believed the LGBT activists themselves were campaigning to get beaten up, a viewpoint that was evident in a recent tweet and a comment.
On June 1, a Twitter user reportedly linked to the group said: “This guy is not getting his ass whacked, by the way. #yaknowja gun (getcha ass) whacked? That dude is doing S/M with a living female donkey and doesn’t give a fig about others beliefs?”
Days later, a comment posted by another user also linked to the groups said: “These particular LGBT men are like gangs involved in free sex with animals who get violent when they feel they are not respected. Let no one think we are some happy, happy homosexuals in this country.”
In a widely read series of tweets in response to the initial attack, Agyarko said that the comments came from the parliamentarian who is “only playing to a predominantly anti-gay crowd in his U.S. base and generating religious outrage. He is using efforts from those supporters as a smokescreen to keep alive his … anti-gay agenda.”
One reason these comments may be of such concern to LGBT advocates is the possible links to U.S. groups, particularly the American Family Association, which has a network of highly visible individuals and organizations across the country.
Its web site includes a section called “404 Not Found,” which links to a page extolling Agyarko’s alleged innocence and denies any connection to the harassment.
Andrew Waddell, the senator from North Carolina, who reportedly “prevented a gay black man from getting murdered in a the West African country in recent weeks,” thinks the LGBT activists themselves are “bashing other Nigerians for reasons related to their own theology.
“While groups like Wadi don’t really give a damn about anything that you and I might think, their ideology does,” he said. “And they believe that the existence of gay people is a disgrace and that homosexuality is the CIA’s goal to make African children kill themselves because they are LGBT.”
Agyarko said that Agyarko didn’t believe the anti-gay protests were in the country’s best interest.
“Wadi is from an area where we are strongly evangelical Christian, and we are not particularly tolerant of anything gay,” he said. “No one should make claims that nothing has happened in the country because Wadi is condemning a message that he believes is historically inaccurate and an affront to my dignity.”
Many of the less derogatory online comments may even be the work of Waddell’s own contacts on his own Twitter account.
What then of Waddell’s continued relationship with the group? Waddell said he is friends with some of the members, but that he does not talk with them directly. Waddell did, however, say he received a donation from the group after the death of a mutual friend, and he will continue to support those who believe in “his work promoting the founding of marriage.”
“I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman and if I will be accused of doing anything I believe to the contrary, so be it,” he said.