Share these social media graphics online and with your friends and family to help build understanding of some of the struggles LGBTQIA+ refugees, asylees, asylum seekers and other forcibly displaced persons can face when trying to access new community and affirming care.
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US humanitarian programs such as refugee resettlement and asylum were not created with the needs of LGBTQIA+ people in mind. And while the United States offers greater legal protections for queer people than others, queer people can still be met with interpersonal and systemic discrimination. It is essential that our elected officials amend these programs to better care for the particular needs of LGBTQIA+ people. In the meantime, queer refugees and asylum seekers must often rely on community networks to find affirming care and safety.
Mutual Aid & Community Care
What is mutual aid? The long and short — people helping one another. Mutual aid is the understanding that people and communities are able to thrive when working cooperatively and in support of each other. Mutual aid is different from charity or from the services and care provided by nonprofits or the government because it is from the community, for the community, and prioritizes those who are most vulnerable. For LGBTQIA+ refugees and asylum seekers, they must often turn to mutual aid and community in order to access the care they need when the systems have failed.
Affirming care is when service providers — be they medical or mental health professionals, or case managers or attorneys — affirm and support the identities of their client, and provide care that is responsive to their particular needs as they intersect with their identities. This can look like having a therapist who specializes in trauma related to discrimination for gender identity, or an attorney helping a client through their name change.
IRAP is a non profit organization bringing together law students and attorneys in service of the legal and human rights of refugees and all displaced persons. They conduct their work by engaging in policy advocacy, direct legal aid, and high impact litigation.
AsylumConnect uses technology to facilitate the safe navigation of people who have been forced to flee their homes due to persecution of their sexual or gender identities. They have created a free mobile platform to help connect LGBTQIA+ people seeking refuge safe and legal services and care.