Destitute African Lesbian Refugee Couple Hopes to Benefit from San Francisco Holiday Party

Free Party with Auction  | Great thanks to Swirl Radio,  Michelle Meow, and Gold Dust Lounge, for offering to raise money for this cause at their holiday Party

Please note – after you have made your donation, please send an email to nathan@privatecourts.com together with your name and address. All amounts of $20.00 and over will receive a remembrance Nelson Mandela BU Coin, with Mandela’s face, his full name on the front and the wording “A Long walk to Freedom.”

By Melanie Nathan, Dec 14, 2013.

Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 10.33.07 PMA lesbian couple from a country in Africa is currently in hiding in a South Africa, having escaped their own country, which criminalized their relationship.

Their journey has been horrendous. They arrived in South Africa with a couple of hundred dollars and two pieces of luggage to their name.That was enough money to survive for a few nights. They ran for their lives. Literally!

Until they are safely settled with legal status, we cannot reveal their names. Their government considers them criminals, just because they love each other.

We all know that our LGBTI sisters are persecuted in many parts of Africa. What many of you may not know is the fact that there are very little ways and means for people to escape the horrors of extreme situations like this one. We sought the help of the US State Department, LGBT and other organizations, and though promised help, no one came through.

They managed to escape and now they need the help of our international community so that they can survive with shelter and food. All legal work being done for them is free.

Their Story:- When the couple’s parents found out they were in a lesbian relationship they were kicked out of their homes. The mother of one invited them back and they thought her invitation was conciliatory. However that night after a dinner cooked especially for them, they both became violently ill. The dinner food had been poisoned. They miraculously survived and fled. After being shunned by friends and community, the couple went from place to place. They have been on the run for years – and because of their appearances and perceptions by community – they became targets, wherever they stayed.

They have been assaulted, beaten, their dog killed and continually threatened. Matters became worse after they had rented an apartment in their home country and their situation became a matter of life and death. The neighbors assumed they were lesbians and in a relationship. Their dog was poisoned, epithets were written on their walls, their work equipment was stolen and destroyed and they were told “we are going to rape and burn you.” Survival became impossible.

Then the siege in earnest began; day and night for months. Neighbors would cut off their electricity and the water supply and each time it was repaired it would happen again and again. Neighbors prevented them from leaving the house. Groups of people would appear intermittently outside shouting slogans and threats. Their food began to run out and they had to take risks to go on the streets in a nearby area to sell their belongings to survive. They had lost all ability to function normally and to work to sustain themselves. They would take turns to sleep at night with a hatchet their only weapon.

As we spoke in the many late hours on Skype, I bore witness to the banging on the door, the threats, the mayhem on the street outside and their sheer terror. There were times when the power would be cut in the midst of our Skype calls and I wondered if they had made it through the night. Of course they could never call the police as being gay is illegal in their country and they were sure that they would be separated and imprisoned.

After escaping, tehe couple is now stuck in South Africa, caught in a legal quagmire with nowhere to go, and as activists are working on their case we are pleading for the LGBTI community to help with funding for food and shelter.The few people who have helped so far cannot do it alone any longer.

No organizations have been forthcoming, despite the many letters we have written.

Help can be sent to this campaign.

If you would like to donate money to help them survive until the time we are able to legitimate their refugee status and resettle them, please send donations to the PAYPAL account at nathan@privatecourts.com
Please note this donation is not tax deductible. No amount is too small.  We will provide an accounting of all donations. Please note that you should note on your donation – “Help LGBT Africa.”

Cash and check donations can be provided to SWIRL at their annual fundraiser.  Checks should be made out to Private Courts.

Please note – after you have made your donation, please send an email to nathan@privatecourts.com together with your name and address. All amounts of $20.00 and over will receive a remembrance Nelson Mandela BU Coin, with Mandela’s face, his full name on the front and the wording “A Long walk to Freedom.”

Thank you for your kind help. 100% of proceeds will go to this couple for food and shelter.

GOLD DUST LOUNGE

SAN FRANCISCO

DEC 17th – 6.30PM

Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 10.33.07 PM


4 thoughts on “Destitute African Lesbian Refugee Couple Hopes to Benefit from San Francisco Holiday Party

  1. We raised $500! All thanks to those who participated in the silent auction and of course, those who donated the items: Michelle Meow and Jackie Chiang, Larry Eschenbacher of KFOG/KGO radio, Nick Bovis of Broadway Grill in Burlingame and Lefty O’Douls, Michelle Meow/Dennis Cruz of Talk Stream Network, and of course YOU Melanie who donated the S. African flag and for bringing this to our attention.

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