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SIERRA LEONE

Male to Male relationships: Not Legal
Punishments for male to male relationships: Imprisonment of 10 years or more
Female to Female Relationships: Legal
Marriage and Substitutes for Marriage: No law

Your Views

Are you LGBTI? We want to hear from you! Help us inform other users of the site with your views on this country. Below is a random question about this country. If it is relevant to you please answer it.

Have you been harassed or arrested in SIERRA LEONE because of your same-sex relationship?

The majority of people visiting this site have said Yes, it is against the law to be gay, lesbian or trans

Yes, it is against the law to be gay, lesbian or trans (100%) Yes, but it is not against the law (0 %) Yes (0 %) No (0 %)

The Your Stories section is all about you! Please take a minute to tell visitors of the ILGA website about what LGBTI life is like in reality. Please submit your personal story and share your experience!

YOUR STORIES
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Readers Experiences

This is what people are saying about life for LGBTI people in SIERRA LEONE...
George Reginald Freeman (user currently living in SIERRA LEONE) posted for gay lesbian transgender bisexual readers on 24/06/2010 +15
link
My name is George Reginald Freeman. We lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face violence and exploitation at home, in our schools, communities, clubs, churches and street. For me violence has become a way of life. It hurts my body, mind and family because it is kept invisible. Violence and exploitation goes together which remains strong in my community. Like most of the world Sierra Leone is a very homophobic place. Homophobia does not only lead to the perpetuation of myths and stereotype about LGBT people, but more importantly to the creation of an environment in which we LGBT people feel vulnerable and unsafe.

I want to bring to your attention the dangers faced by LGBT people in my beloved Sierra Leone and throughout Africa. It is an issue which most African leaders do not like to address as we are considered ‘as a waste in society and considered deader than the dead’. In fact, many African leaders do not want to even acknowledge that we exist. Their denial has many disastrous results for our community.

We do exist. But because of the denial of our existence, I live in constant fear of the police and officials who have arrested and detained me several times simply because I am a gay.

I live in fear as my family has disowned me and kicked me out of the family house, as it is very common for LGBT people when their identity becomes known. I was mocked and a lot of people gathered around me provoked, mocked and disgraced me publicly which make me ashamed and feel shy after the death of my mother in December 24th 1999, I was a street child for five years.

I was abused, neglect, dejected and looked upon by the society. As street child things were very hard as there are no shelters during rainy seasons, even a meal per day one must be lucky to get one. In order for me to survive under those difficult circumstances, I was forced by hunger to do some menial jobs like, washing plates for cookery shops, collecting garbage’s from the gutter, carrying foodstuffs for people in the market stalls. Despite all these inhuman and degrading treatment I had in life, I was more determined never to let this background affect my future, as my vision was to help other LGBT people like myself to become better individuals in society. I used the money I earn from menial job to up keep and educate myself.

I believe that my background as a street child really gave me a better edge to express profound empathy towards my unfortunate brothers and sisters (Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people) in Sierra Leone. As a former street child who went through all the difficulties in life, I believe I'm in the better position to salvage the predicament of street children and fellow LGBT people in my society. As I felt how they felt, and think alike of solutions that will enhance our status in life, I am still voiceless as I am neglected in the society.

The life I lived and experienced gained as a former street child was far more degrading. Due to the hard and bitter life I crawled through as a former gay street child, everyday came with a different dimension of difficulties that only a determined and focused mind can sail through and advocate for my other LGBT brothers and sisters as we are the silence and neglected voices in our society. As the person who sailed through many challenges in life, I strongly believe that I'm more than capable to identify the problems faced and solutions to make a visible change in our lives.

I live in fear within my community, where I face constant harassment and violence from neighbors and other people on the street; just because of my sexual orientation is gay. Their homophobic attacks go unpunished by the police and other authorities, further encouraging their discriminatory and violent attitude.

When African leaders, especially Sierra Leoneans use culture, tradition, religion and societal norms to deny our existence they send a message that tolerates discrimination, violence and overall indignity.

There are no accesses to health care facilities for LGBT people in Sierra Leone. I have to hide my sexual identity for me to attend school. I was not accepted into any University in Sierra Leone, so I did a correspondence course with the Institute of Commercial Management London where I acquired a Diploma in International Business Communication and Business Management and Administration.

We LGBT people in Sierra Leone are being called as a waste in society and a nuance in our community. “Should we sit down and allow the trend to continue?” This is a question that lingers in my mind which prompted me to strongly come out to advocate and defend the rights of other LGBT young people which I strongly believe will not only salvage the predicament of us LGBT people, but will give us solution and hope in life. I want to join hands with other LGBTQ activist so that we can fight for the inclusion and liberation of our LGBT human rights and the emancipation of hate crimes, violence and discrimination in Africa, especially Sierra Leone.

I intend to advocate by breaking down the stereotypes and creating a more understanding world for inter-racial, inter-religious and queer couples worldwide. I want to promote understanding, respect and equality for inter-racial, inter-religious and LGBT people worldwide.

I urge LGBT people, youth development activists, local and international human rights organization, LGBT Organizations, LGBT philanthropists, Civil Society Movements and Governmental agencies to break the chains of violence and exploitation so that we can live in peace, love, dignity and respect.

“I want to assure you that change start with a small intention, being put into action is realised far beyond our imagination”

George Reginald Freeman – WhyCantWeGetMarried.Com West Africa Regional Coordinator
add response to story
George Reginald Freeman (user currently living in SIERRA LEONE) posted for gay lesbian transgender bisexual readers on 24/06/2010 +15
link
My name is George Reginald Freeman. We lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face violence and exploitation at home, in our schools, communities, clubs, churches and street. For me violence has become a way of life. It hurts my body, mind and family because it is kept invisible. Violence and exploitation goes together which remains strong in my community. Like most of the world Sierra Leone is a very homophobic place. Homophobia does not only lead to the perpetuation of myths and stereotype about LGBT people, but more importantly to the creation of an environment in which we LGBT people feel vulnerable and unsafe.

I want to bring to your attention the dangers faced by LGBT people in my beloved Sierra Leone and throughout Africa. It is an issue which most African leaders do not like to address as we are considered ‘as a waste in society and considered deader than the dead’. In fact, many African leaders do not want to even acknowledge that we exist. Their denial has many disastrous results for our community.

We do exist. But because of the denial of our existence, I live in constant fear of the police and officials who have arrested and detained me several times simply because I am a gay.

I live in fear as my family has disowned me and kicked me out of the family house, as it is very common for LGBT people when their identity becomes known. I was mocked and a lot of people gathered around me provoked, mocked and disgraced me publicly which make me ashamed and feel shy after the death of my mother in December 24th 1999, I was a street child for five years.

I was abused, neglect, dejected and looked upon by the society. As street child things were very hard as there are no shelters during rainy seasons, even a meal per day one must be lucky to get one. In order for me to survive under those difficult circumstances, I was forced by hunger to do some menial jobs like, washing plates for cookery shops, collecting garbage’s from the gutter, carrying foodstuffs for people in the market stalls. Despite all these inhuman and degrading treatment I had in life, I was more determined never to let this background affect my future, as my vision was to help other LGBT people like myself to become better individuals in society. I used the money I earn from menial job to up keep and educate myself.

I believe that my background as a street child really gave me a better edge to express profound empathy towards my unfortunate brothers and sisters (Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people) in Sierra Leone. As a former street child who went through all the difficulties in life, I believe I'm in the better position to salvage the predicament of street children and fellow LGBT people in my society. As I felt how they felt, and think alike of solutions that will enhance our status in life, I am still voiceless as I am neglected in the society.

The life I lived and experienced gained as a former street child was far more degrading. Due to the hard and bitter life I crawled through as a former gay street child, everyday came with a different dimension of difficulties that only a determined and focused mind can sail through and advocate for my other LGBT brothers and sisters as we are the silence and neglected voices in our society. As the person who sailed through many challenges in life, I strongly believe that I'm more than capable to identify the problems faced and solutions to make a visible change in our lives.

I live in fear within my community, where I face constant harassment and violence from neighbors and other people on the street; just because of my sexual orientation is gay. Their homophobic attacks go unpunished by the police and other authorities, further encouraging their discriminatory and violent attitude.

When African leaders, especially Sierra Leoneans use culture, tradition, religion and societal norms to deny our existence they send a message that tolerates discrimination, violence and overall indignity.

There are no accesses to health care facilities for LGBT people in Sierra Leone. I have to hide my sexual identity for me to attend school. I was not accepted into any University in Sierra Leone, so I did a correspondence course with the Institute of Commercial Management London where I acquired a Diploma in International Business Communication and Business Management and Administration.

We LGBT people in Sierra Leone are being called as a waste in society and a nuance in our community. “Should we sit down and allow the trend to continue?” This is a question that lingers in my mind which prompted me to strongly come out to advocate and defend the rights of other LGBT young people which I strongly believe will not only salvage the predicament of us LGBT people, but will give us solution and hope in life. I want to join hands with other LGBTQ activist so that we can fight for the inclusion and liberation of our LGBT human rights and the emancipation of hate crimes, violence and discrimination in Africa, especially Sierra Leone.

I intend to advocate by breaking down the stereotypes and creating a more understanding world for inter-racial, inter-religious and queer couples worldwide. I want to promote understanding, respect and equality for inter-racial, inter-religious and LGBT people worldwide.

I urge LGBT people, youth development activists, local and international human rights organization, LGBT Organizations, LGBT philanthropists, Civil Society Movements and Governmental agencies to break the chains of violence and exploitation so that we can live in peace, love, dignity and respect.

“I want to assure you that change start with a small intention, being put into action is realised far beyond our imagination”

George Reginald Freeman – WhyCantWeGetMarried.Com West Africa Regional Coordinator
add response to story
add response to story
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