It is still illegal to be gay in 73 countries. In 10 countries, homosexuality is punishable with the death penalty. As a result, every year, thousands of LGBTQ immigrants and asylum seekers come to the U.S. fleeing persecution in their home countries based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Yet upon their arrival, many do not know where it is safe to go for help.
“Where can I go for help with filing my LGBTQ asylum application?”
“Where is it safe to go for shelter?”
“Where can I get my next meal?”
“How can I take care of my mental health?”
“Where can I meet new people?”
“Where can I find a LGBTQ-friendly doctor?”
My dream is to ensure every LGBTQ immigrant has access to the information they need to safely integrate in their new home. At AsylumConnect, we are creating the first ever online resource database for LGBTQ asylum seekers in the U.S. The AsylumConnect catalog helps persecuted LGBTQ people find safe resources during the U.S. asylum process.
The resource catalog enables LGBTQ asylum seekers to know where it is safe to go for help with filing their LGBTQ asylum application, connecting with local members of the LGBTQ community, accessing LGBTQ-friendly mental health and medical services, finding safe housing and free meals, and more. Immigration attorneys, nonprofits and other service providers also use this free, online database to gather verified resource referrals for clients.
This LGBTQ Pride Month, it is crucial to advocate for the rights of each and every member of the LGBTQ community. We all deserve the freedom and safety to live authentically.
Seeking LGBTQ asylum is a fundamental human right. Together, we can ensure that all LGBTQ asylum seekers have access to the verified information and support necessary to finally be themselves.
Katie Sgarro is a social entrepreneur and LGBTQ advocate. She is currently Co-Founder & President of tech nonprofit AsylumConnect. Katie has led AsylumConnect for the past 4 years in establishing the first online resource database for LGBTQ asylum seekers in the U.S. She received her B.A. cum laude [...]