Queer Refugee Fundraiser
About The Fundraiser
The LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland has had a visible and award-winning track-record for providing programming, resources, and services to the LGBTQ+ individuals in Northeast Ohio since their founding nearly 45 years ago. In 2020, at the height of a global pandemic and national unrest, the Center has found new ways to serve the LGBTQ+ community, who have historically been vulnerable and the most-at-risk during social-economic downturns and health crises in the United States, COVID-19 has been no exception. One of those ways the Center has expanded their work in advocating for social justice, equity, and inclusion is by providing medical needs and funding to queer immigrants, asylum-seeking, and refugee individuals.
Amara is a young woman, filled with kindness, brilliance, and ambition for a hopeful future. Like all of us, Amara envisions compassion, partnership, and human intimacy as part of her life, and she found that companionship in the arms of a fellow woman. Together, they hoped to build a good life.
When Amara’s family discovered her secret relationship, however, she suddenly found her life turned upside down. Living under a government that criminalizes LGBTQ+ people, Amara’s family arranged to have her married to a man whom she did not want to spend her life with. When she refused, they threatened her with violence. She fled.
Not knowing what to do or where to go, Amara sought safety in the US. Though she was new to America, she heard that it was a place of many things: freedom, equality, the chance to live one’s life as you are and with whom you love.
Sadly, Amara now struggles to find the safety and acceptance she so deserves. Entering into American life during a time of increased intolerance – including both homophobia and xenophobia – Amara has witnessed the US government roll back protections for the LGBTQ+ community, enforce arbitrary bans on immigrants and refugees from predominantly Muslim countries, and even tear apart thousands of innocent families by sending them to concentration camps along our border.
Harder still, Amara is now trapped navigating in a convoluted and bureaucratic immigration system that prevents her from seeking gainful employment and providing for herself. Instead, she struggles to survive at the intersections of oppression, facing housing and food insecurity, lack of reliable transportation, healthcare, and basic essentials.
Amara deserves better. And she is not alone:
- An estimated five percent of U.S. asylum claims are based on persecution of sexual orientation or gender identity, suggesting that the U.S. would have received 4,802 applications citing anti-LGBT persecution.
- In 10 countries worldwide, same-sex activity is punishable by death, and 75 countries criminalize same-sex relationships. Hundreds of transgender individuals have been brutally murdered in the last year.
- In a growing number of countries, governments have sought to silence equality advocates and organizations with “so-called anti-propaganda” laws and legislation.
The LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland has a crowdfunding campaign to help Amara get a fair start in the US.
Please click here to make a gift to ensure that your donation goes directly to Amara. No matter how large or small, your gift will make a huge difference for our new neighbor!