The first of June marks the beginning of Pride month, a month to celebrate lesbian, gay, bi, trans and all queer people under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella, and continue the fight for equality.
Pride first began as a protest. It started as the Christopher Street Liberation March and took place one year after the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York, when the community came together to stand up to continued targeted attacks and ongoing harassment from the police.
This sparked an international movement, resulting in Pride becoming a globally recognised month to highlight and support the struggle for love, dignity, equality and justice for all lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people.
But there is still so far to go.
Today, being LGBTQIA+ is still criminalised in 70 countries across the world, and in many others, LGBTQIA+ people face daily discrimination, persecution, and harassment just because of who they are.
LGBTQIA+ people seeking safety and asylum also often face specific challenges and additional risks due to their identity. People may be forced to flee their home countries after being outed as LGBTQIA+ and might struggle to ‘prove’ their identity or the persecution they have been through when applying for asylum. As part of this process, they’re often forced to share extremely vulnerable information to those who are assessing their asylum claims, without knowing how it will be used or whether they will be believed.
In the UK, the passing of the Nationality and Borders Bill in 2021 and this year’s proposed Refugee Ban Bill, create even more threats to the safety of LGBTQIA+ people. If the Refugee Ban Bill goes through, LGBTQIA+ people seeking asylum will face an increased likelihood of detainment, deportation and possible refoulement.
At the US-Mexico border, LGBTQIA+ people are extremely vulnerable to harassment, violence and sexual assault on both sides of the border. Since Title 42, the policy which blocked people from applying for asylum on the US-Mexico border, has ended, there is even more risk for LGBTQIA+ people seeking safety in the US.
Lesbian, gay, bi, trans or queer people often need specific LGBTQIA+ friendly shelter or housing so that they can sleep in safety, legal support to help navigate asylum claims as an LGBTQIA+ person, as well as mental health care, so they can process what they’ve experienced and feel confident being who they are.
We are so proud to support incredible partners doing this life-changing work across the world today, and this month we will be highlighting these incredible partners. From Say It Loud Club who work with refugees and asylum seekers in London, to Border Butterflies operating on the ground at the US-Mexico border, to Insight, who help LGBTQIA+ people in Ukraine.
To support their amazing work, you can buy our Pride Bundle today to provide LGBTQ+ people with:
- Shelter: A safe space for someone to sleep, without fear of being attacked or harassed because of who they are
- Legal support: help for an LGBTQIA+ to navigate the asylum system, and be supported to feel safe disclosing their identity
- Mental health support: A place for someone to understand what they’ve been through, and be supported through it