LGBTQ Refugees Caught in Limbo


This year, refugees have been brought to the forefront of the American consciousness with the shocking news of Trump’s travel ban and his horrifying views on Mexican immigration.

On this #WorldRefugeeDay we want to highlight LGBTQ folks seeking asylum. Zuri, the storyteller from America in Transition Episode 4: Where Is My Refuge has one such story.

Zuri (depicted in middle) with friends in Chicago Park.

Propelled by a death wish, Zuri became a police chief in Puebla, Mexico, one of the most dangerous districts for trans women in the world. After transitioning on the job, and witnessing the brutal murder of her friend and trans activist Agnes Torres, Zuri escaped to Chicago to start her life over. Episode addresses hate violence, employment, and immigration.

A disproportionately large number of LGBTQ people in the US are refugees. This disparity occurs because so many refugees come to the US to escape the harsh anti-gay laws from their countries. [ORR Rainbow Welcome Report 2012] Refugees are more harshly vetted than any other group in the country, often forcing people to enter undocumented when border patrol will not grant them access. Luckily, Zuri has been granted asylum, but most LGBTQ refugees don’t have that privilege.

You can help these refugees today by donating to the Heartland Alliance Rainbow Welcome, an organization that supports and provides resources to LBGTQ asylum seekers.

Help us share more true stories about trans people of color by donating to our#WeBelong campaign. By donating, you’re giving more TPOC the courage to live authentically.