FannyAnn Eddy was a major activist for LGBTQ rights in her native Sierra Leone and the rest of Africa. She was murdered on Sept. 29, 2004. Nobody was ever convicted of the crime.
She founded the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association in 2002 and advocated for LGBTQ rights at the United Nations, telling them, “Silence creates vulnerability.” Her organization documented harassment, beatings and arbitrary arrests of LGBTQ people in her country.
In her testimony at the U.N Commission on Human Rights in April 2004, she affirmed that there are LGBTQ people 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.”
Links related to FannyAnn Eddy and LGBTQ Africa
FannyAnn Eddy at the Legacy Project
David Kato: Ugandan LGBTQ rights activist (1964-2011) (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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