Effery (not her real name), a transgender woman, grew up in a religiously strict household. Her family was suspicious of her sexuality and gender identity so she learned to act differently in pubic and in private: “When I'm outside the house I have to pretend I'm the boss. I need to walk more masculine, not very feminine, like the way I feel when I'm in the house. And the way I talk too sometimes when I'm out, I have to be very careful because when you start talking and you start being all fabulous and all gay, they'll raise eyebrows. So when I'm out there and I'm talking I need to talk straight. I need to act straight.” Ghana, Accra. 12 March, 2018. Photo Robin Hammond/Witness Change

Effery /

“I grew up in a very strong religious family, so my sexuality and emotion is nothing we talk about. There was a time in my life that I thought I was the only person of my kind on Earth, was very lonely, emotionally traumatized and looking for people I can relate to. My dad was very strict but I usually have a feeling my mum knows. We lived in a family house where my uncles and aunties take the slightest thing I do serious and personal and am being punished for being myself. I managed to live with this situation until I met someone like me. ‘A friend’ he introduced me to some people and NGO’s undertaking LGBTI interventions. There I was able to express myself, and got more information about my sexuality and everything. Even with that, I still struggle with life cause I have to be two people at time : in the house, at church, at work place and everywhere. Still can’t talk about my sexuality.] I got to know that I’m a trans female now, so for me now is like coming out twice.”

Share this story:Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twittershare on TumblrEmail to someone