Clicking Here will take you to Google, remember to hide your tracks

Happy Pride Month! It’s important to celebrate the progress we’ve made, but we should also stay focused on how much more work we must do before all of us can live in safety.

I’ve represented asylum seekers who shared stories a lot like this one:

“Pretend you are straight, act straight, don’t make eye contact, don’t try to draw attention to yourself because once they figure out you’re gay, you’re going to be in”

– Xavier Walker as quoted in LGBTQ+ Asylum Seekers Search for Safety in US after Persecution Abroad.

The consequences of just being who you are, loving who you love, can be physical and sexual violence, exploitation, abuse, and even death.

LGBTQIA+ survivors who are able to break away from persecution and brave the journey here sadly face alarmingly high risks of experiencing further harm at the border. These risks continue as they begin to rebuild their lives in the U.S. While all immigrant survivors of violence face multiple barriers in their pursuit of safety, LGBTQIA+ survivors often encounter additional, unique challenges that make their journey to justice even more dangerous.

At Tahirih, we believe no one should face persecution, violence, or discrimination for being who they are. That’s why we provide free legal and social services to immigrant women, girls, and all survivors and their families, and advocate for policies that center the person whose life is at stake. We also know equality and justice can look different for each of our clients, so we approach our work knowing that a survivor is the expert in their own journey.

We are a stronger country when we foster communities that welcome and embrace diversity of all kinds. Let’s continue to work together and build a world where everyone, no matter their race, ethnicity, gender identity, and sexual orientation, can live safely.