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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!

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Readers Experiences

This is what people are saying about life for LGBTI people in SIERRA LEONE...
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Mohamed Salieu Kamara (user currently living in UNITED KINGDOM) posted for gay lesbian transgender bisexual intersex readers on 15/04/2014
Good day, and let me express my deep honor and pleasure to the world challenge.

I am talking about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, human beings born free and given bestowed equality and dignity, who have a right to claim that, which is now one of the remaining human rights challenges of our time. I speak about this subject knowing that my own country’s record on human rights for gay people is far from perfect. Until 2011, when David Cameron, the British prime minister issued a statement at a world summit to tell African leaders they should support gay rights or risk losing funds from the UK government, it was still a crime in parts of our country. Many LGBT in the west countries have endured violence and harassment in their own lives, and for some, including many youthful people, bullying and exclusion are daily experiences. So we, like all nations, have more work to do to defend human rights at home.

At the present, raising this issue, I know, is sensitive for many people and that the obstacles standing in the way of protecting the human rights of LGBT people rest on deeply held personal, political, cultural, and religious beliefs. So I am submitting my local and International Journal of Area Studies with respect, accepting, and humility. Even though progress on this front is not easy, we cannot delay acting. So in that spirit, I want to talk about the difficult and vital issues we must address together to reach a global harmony that recognizes the human rights of LGBT citizens all over.

The primary issue goes to the heart of the subject. Some have suggested that gay rights and human rights are separate and distinct; but, in fact, they are one and the same. Now, of course, 67 years ago, the governments that drafted and approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were not thinking about how it applied to the LGBT area. They also weren’t thinking about how it applied to indigenous people or children or people with disabilities or other marginalized groups. Yet in the past 67 years, we have come to recognize that members of these groups are entitled to the full measure of dignity and rights, because, like all people, they share a common humanity.

This recognition did not occur all at once. It evolved over time. And as it did, we understood that we were honoring rights that people always had, rather than creating new or special rights for them. Like being a woman, like being a racial, religious, tribal, or ethnic minority, being LGBT does not make you less human. And that is why gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.

It is violation of human rights when people are beaten or killed because of their sexual orientation, or because they do not conform to cultural norms about how men and women should look or behave. It is a violation of human rights when governments declare it illegal to be gay, or allow those who harm gay people or their sympathizers to go scot-free. It is a violation of human rights when lesbian or transgendered women are subjected to so-called corrective rape, or forcibly subjected to hormone treatments, or when people are murdered after public calls for violence toward gays, or when they are forced to flee their nations and seek safe haven in other lands to save their lives. And it is a violation of human rights when life-saving care is withdrawn from people because they are gay, or equal access to justice is denied to people because they are gay, or public spaces are out of bounds to people because they are gay. No matter what we in each of these cases, we came to learn that no practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us. And this holds true for inflicting violence on LGBT people, criminalizing their status or behaviour, expelling them from their families and communities, or tacitly or explicitly accepting their killing.
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M S Kamara (user currently living in UNITED KINGDOM) posted for intersex readers on 03/06/2013

My work and activities with different local and international organisations raised my awareness about people’s rights, especially gay (homosexual) rights. There is no law that prohibits gay practice in Sierra Leone. Our politicians do not do a thing to promote gay rights.

The very few, like me, who are brave enough to advocate for gay right expose ourselves to persecutions, threats, attacks, provocations and ridicule.
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