‘Right from when I was born, in the hospital, they couldn’t tell my gender. They will have to completely unwrap me and take me all around to be able to tell. They will be like , “is this a male or a female?’
I am popularly known as Angel Maxine and I’m Ghana’s first openly transgender musician.
I always felt like I was living somebody else’s life. It got to some point, I owned it, so when you call me, Kojo Beisa, Obaa Berima (these are names that predate colonialism, used in the Ghanaian local dialect, Twi, to describe people who fall out of the normal known gender characters), I’m like ‘hello, Hi!’ You know, I simply owned it.
I didn’t go to pick anybody’s lifestyle or anyone’s culture. I was effeminate from birth. Even though I had backlash from family and a lot of other people, I was like really tired. But I realized, this is me, so I started doing my music openly. Wearing my short pants and my Santiago boots and all that.
This was when I really saw myself and said; ‘Hey, this is me.’ This is the beautiful picture I have always seen of myself and this is what I want to show the world. We exist, we are in Ghana and it is this Ghana that we will live in.’
Angel Maxine is Ghana’s first openly transgender musician. She’s one of many Ghanaians who may be criminalized for their sexual identity, as well as those supporting the LGBTQIA+ community, should a new bill be passed by the government. Supporters of the bill believe it will stop ‘perversion.’