A Ghanaian transgender, Jamal (not her real name), has said insults, rejection and abuse propelled her to become an LGBTQI activist.
Describing herself as a “man trapped in a woman’s body”, Jamal, who prefers to be addressed as a ‘he’, told Benjamin Akakpo on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Monday, 24 June 2019 that: “I started my activism when I had enough of being abused, being shut down and being discriminated. Growing up, I was abused and tortured by family, friends and the community I lived in.
“So, the day I decided I was never going to shut up but be the voice for the voiceless; that was when I found happiness and I had the passion, I felt now I’m alive and I need not to shut up”, Jamal said.
Jamal said: “Being rejected, getting to the point that I was burnt by the community in which I lived because they perceived me as a lesbian based on how I dressed though I never identified as [such], losing my job and then rejection from my landlord and then my family disowning me, taking me to have a conventional therapy which was the highest abuse of my life” all conspired to make her accept who she is.
Jamal explained that ‘he’ tried changing to conform to society in order to be accepted but it did not work.
“Along the line, I was also asking myself questions because nobody will live in a country where the majority prefers to see two men wielding guns than two men holding hands. I realised that if it is possible for me to change so that I can get the acceptance and the love that my siblings are getting from the family, but then again, it didn’t change, this is who I am”.