Our gente are our gente. That being said, this Immigrant Heritage Month and PRIDE Month, we want to recognize the queer immigrants who are fighting for justice alongside us. Their stories are intertwined with the collective immigrant story and they should be heard and told.
Our community faces a lot of challenges regarding race, money, and systematic oppression, but when it comes to queer immigrants these challenges are magnified. By pushing through the exclusion and intolerance they fight to break through on the side of dignity and respect. Fighting for basic human rights and [having them denied] constantly dealing with the confusion and the exclusion that comes with being queer and an immigrant.
The right to a liveable wage and the right to a home is oftentimes not attainable for queer folks, even more so for queer immigrants. According to the American Progress, 15% of trans folks have reported making less than $10,000 a year and gay men earn 10-32% less than heterosexual men with similar qualifications and education levels.
Queer youth, at a young age, also experience the challenges of being queer in regards to mental health and accessibility to resources. According to NBC News, 2 in every 5 queer youth have ‘seriously considered suicide in the past year highlighting the need for more mental health resources among our queer youth.
LGBTQIA+ issues, not only happen in the U.S. but in many countries identifying as queer is life-threatening. Queer folks apply for asylum in hopes of escaping the dangers of their homelands where honor killings and queer shame are the norms. Watch one of the many queer asylum seeker stories below, then watch the second video about the process which LGBTQIA+ folks must go through in order to reach Asylum in the U.S.
- What it’s like to be an LGBT+ Asylum Seeker: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbI4D3X42sk
- LGBTQ+ Asylum in America, Documents Needed and Proving Sexuality to the U.S. Government! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoSN60amt4M
- NBC News Article: https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/40-percent-lgbtq-youth-seriously-considered-suicide-past-year-survey-n1233832
- American Progress: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/lgbtq-rights/news/2012/04/16/11494/the-gay-and-transgender-wage-gap/