Struggling Alone: Women who have sex with women in Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Ghana

A collection of testimonies by women who have sex with women in West Africa

 

“Oh, there are lesbians in West Africa?”
“ Where are the lesbians?”
“Lesbians are just too hard to find. They do not want to come out.”

 

These are some of the questions and statements commonly heard in conversations about human rights, women’s rights, and even spaces where the rights and needs of sexual minorities and people with diverse gender identities are most actively discussed. And yet, there are lesbians and transgendered women in West Africa, as in the rest of the continent. This report is a result of a five-month social context analysis conducted by a young, lesbian-led organization, The Queer African Youth Networking Center (QAYN) to call attentions to the lived realities of lesbians, bisexual, transgendered, queer and women who have sex with women (LBTQWSW) in three West African countries. A group of passionate and resourceful volunteers engaged in cross-country interviews and focus group discussions to uncover the challenges faced and strategies used by LBTQWSW in living their lives as same-gender loving women.