DEALING WITH HATE: RESPONDING WITH LOVE.
We are still mourning the loss of innocent LGBT lives on June 12. From joy and safety to tragedy and heartbreak all in a matter of minutes. We mourn the loss of life and send our condolences to the friends and families of those who died in Orlando, and wish the survivors a full recovery. Now those headlines have been replaced by more mass shootings, this time in Dallas; and of more killings of Black males just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. We grieve all these deaths and mourn what the world has lost with each life taken too soon.
LGBT asylum seekers have responded in many different ways. Some could not leave their homes for days after Orlando, saying, "If America, land of same-sex marriage, openly LGBT politicians, and huge Pride events, could suffer such violence, is any place safe for us?"
Others say, "We faced this every day at home, so we can survive this, too." For many LGBT persons in dangerous countries, from Algeria to Zambia, every day is a personal "Orlando." Every day they live in fear of exposure, persecution, and death, for being LGBT.
The Task Force remains dedicated to supporting the emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual needs of LGBT asylum seekers throughout this difficult time.
Your support makes it possible. Thank you.
Dear caring friend of LGBT Asylum Seekers,
Global events are forcing more asylum seekers to flee unbearable conditions in their home countries.
Many governments have stepped up persecution of their LGBTQ citizens. These past few months, the Task Force has had more urgent requests for help than ever before.
Thanks to YOU, we have been able to say “Yes” to many who knock on our door,including Kamelliah and Ian.
From Fear to Freedom: Kamelliah’s story
My name is Kamelliah. My passion for creative writing, photography, and psychology are as much a part of me, as being a 20 year old ex-Muslim lesbian. I was raised in Saudi Arabia, where homosexuality, and autonomy for women, are forbidden by law…
READ MORE of Kamelliah’s personal journey here
“Phoning for Godot”: Ian’s story
Ian escaped Uganda after his boyfriend and father were murdered. He arrived knowing no one, but with the name, address, and phone number of a man “who will help you if you need it” in his pocket. Ian waited for hours in the cold and dark, calling and calling...
READ MORE of Ian’s personal journey here
Your special “New beginnings” gift today will help another asylum seeker like Kamelliah or Ian.
Did You Know...There are laws against homosexuality in
In 72 countries, you could be imprisoned if you are part of the LGBT community?
In 7 of those countries, the punishment is the death penalty?
In some of those countries "corrective rape" is common and sometimes committed by government officials?
Fortunately, There is Help
The LGBT Asylum Support Task Force is a group of dedicated volunteers in Central Massachusetts who provide support those for who are seeking political asylum in the U.S. based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Since 2007, the Task Force has helped more than 100 individuals.
Asylum seekers are vulnerable and traumatized individuals who have fled to the U.S. in fear of being killed or harmed in their countries of origin due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. The violence resulting from homophobia and anti-homosexuality laws in many countries in the world is rampant.
Because most asylum seekers are not permitted to work during their legal process, they do not have the means to support themselves. They often arrive in the U.S. with nothing but the clothes on their backs having used all of their resources getting here. Moreover, they remain particularly isolated because frequently they cannot turn to people from their own country in the U.S. for assistance or support as it is their fellow countrymen from whom they are fleeing.
The volunteers of LGBT Asylum Support Task Force contribute to the financial, housing, social, and spiritual needs of asylum seekers in many ways:
recruiting volunteers to host asylum seekers to live in their homes,
donating clothing, toiletries, and household items,
driving them to appointments, and
providing a safe and supportive social environment.
This is often the first time they have been able to publicly express their sexual orientation and it is incredibly empowering. For many, this is the first time they have been able to witness same sex couples and families living normal everyday lives and it gives them great hope for their futures.
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