Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) refugees in many other parts of the world are among the most vulnerable of refugees. They are often targeted for violence because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, including by other refugees. LGBTI refugees may be unable to rely on support from the social networks that are critical for the survival of many refugees because they are frequently marginalized by family members or others within the refugee community.
Human Rights First conducted research in Uganda and Kenya, and identified some of the specific challenges LGBTI refugees face as well as strategies for ensuring they have equal access to protection and services. Our research found LGBTI refugees often struggle to access even the limited assistance that is available to other refugees, including access to essential medical assistance. Reasons include:
- Staff at organizations or institutions that are supposed to provide assistance sometimes discriminate against or humiliate LGBTI refugees;
- Some LGBTI refugees fear risks of violence and harassment if identified by other refugees at UNHCR or NGO offices, including through exposure of their confidential information.
LGBTI refugees in Uganda and Kenya often face high risks of violence, including from other members of the refugee community. Both Uganda and Kenya criminalize same-sex conduct, which makes it extremely difficult for LGBTI refugees to seek police protection for fear of being arrested. Police in both countries also harass and extort individuals – sometimes due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. The risks of violence against LGBTI refugees are so high that even non-LGBTI persons who advocate on behalf of LGBTI refugees in Uganda and sometimes Kenya may face security concerns. For example, in 2010, two women in Uganda were abducted, raped repeatedly, and left for dead because they had been assisting a group of LGBTI refugees.
Area of Interest:
Story telling as an collaboration tool is a wonderful thing. So what we are proposing is collecting stories that give the identified population a chance to share their story and putting them together to create a collective wisdom. Our reason for approaching the subject in this manner is to give a nurturing space for creating community and access to information that will support others during a time that could potentially by one of the most stressful and difficult transitions in their lives. If you or someone you know has an interest and are willing to share your/their story please post it here or email us. Also, feel free to share this information with other organizations or individuals that may be interested.
Would you like to share your story?
Do you have a story to tell about your experience as a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender (LGBT) immigrant? Are you interested in sharing it with people learning about LGBT immigration? If so, this is your chance to participate in a collective wisdom. I am seeking to provide a unique opportunity for LGBT immigrants a chance to share their stories and experiences that statistics do not provide. For instance, stories that describe the adjustments / challenges experienced as you leave or integrate into another culture. What changes did you expereince/make? How did you balance the needs of your family and culture of origin with the needs of the new culture? As you made the adjustments, what worked well for you and what would you do differently? Other story possibilities may include the relationship you have with you family/spouse/siblings/children/parents? It’s your story, tell it your way. This is an opportunity for you to share your experience with others, some of whom may be in their own journey.
Guidelines for Submission:
(Please note that these stories are not intended to provide an opportunity for individuals or groups to insult or offend others. We ask that authors respect the privacy of individuals who may be mentioned in the stories they submit by using fictional (fake) names. We also ask that authors be respectful of others in their expression of opinions. Submitted stories will be screened based on these and other criteria. Stories submitted that seem rude, offensive, or generally distasteful will not be accepted.) The following is a suggestion but you may omit as much information as you like.
* The author or group of authors will have immigrated from one country to another or from one region to another.
* References to other resources should be included at the end of the story in a bibliography
* Person or persons submitting story must be the author
* More than one short story can be submitted
* It is preferred that stories be submitted in American English and am willing to accept submissions in any language
* Please verify that your contact information is accurate in your submission
* If desired I am willing to conduct or accept an audio or video interview instead of a written story.
- Immigrant and LGBT: when identities intersect (denverpost.com)
- The Basics On Gay Asylum (rainbowethiopia1.net)
- For some gay immigrants, going home is not an option (rainbowethiopia1.net)
- Donald Trump tells immigrant advocates “You’ve convinced me” (nbclatino.com)