Thursday, September 29, 2016
FannyAnn Eddy: Lesbian martyr in Africa
FannyAnn Eddy was a major activist for LGBT rights in her native Sierra Leone and the rest of Africa. She was murdered on this date (Sept. 29) in 2004. Nobody was ever convicted of the crime.
She founded the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association in 2002 and advocated for LGBT rights at the United Nations. Her organization documented harassment, beatings and arbitrary arrests of LGBT people in her country.
In her testimony at the U.N Commission on Human Rights in April 2004, she affirmed that there are LGBT throughout Africa, but they live in fear.
With tragically prophetic words, she told the U.N, “We live in fear within our communities, where we face constant harassment and violence from neighbors and others. Their homophobic attacks go unpunished by authorities, further encouraging their discriminatory and violent treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.”
Eddy was working alone at night in the Freetown offices of the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association when one or more attackers broke in and killed her. She was survived by her 10-year-old son and her girlfriend, Esther Chikalipa.
Eddy’s final words to the United Nations still resound today: “Silence creates vulnerability. You, members of the Commission on Human Rights, can break the silence. You can acknowledge that we exist, throughout Africa and on every continent, and that human rights violations based on sexual orientation or gender identity are committed every day. You can help us combat those violations and achieve our full rights and freedoms, in every society, including my beloved Sierra Leone.”
FannyAnn Eddy at the Legacy Project
Uganda Martyrs raise questions on homosexuality, religion and LGBT rights (Jesus in Love)
David Kato: Ugandan LGBT rights activist (1964-2011) (Jesus in Love)
Saint Walatta Petros: African nun shared a lifetime bond with a female partner in 17th-century (Jesus in Love)
This post is part of the LGBTQ Saints series by Kittredge Cherry. Traditional and alternative saints, people in the Bible, LGBTQ martyrs, authors, theologians, religious leaders, artists, deities and other figures of special interest to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people and our allies are covered.
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