So much pain reflected in the words of one LGBTQI refugee – and its speaks to the thousands who now seeking protection… Constantly escaping and escaping hate only to face hell
Just this weekend I was honored to give a speech at the event hosted by Jill and Michael at Jillie’s Wine Bar and Shop in San Anselmo, Marin County. The robustly attended event was held for African Human Rights Coalition, to celebrate our work and raise funds. In my speech I reported what I have learned directly from gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex refugees who are caught between a rock and a hard place, when the protection of a displaced LGBTQI person is not what it ought to be, and resettlement not guaranteed. Unlike heterosexual refugees, who are protected by UNHCR and the host country, LGBTQI refugees continue to suffer at the hands of hostile hosts! When in the host country they experience the very same persecution that they escaped from! This is mostly because the host country itself is hostile to LGBTQI people due to their own criminalizing laws and the ramifications of such. Also the host country and UNHCR, fail to provide full protection due to lack of funds, some homophobic employees, and a heterosexual refugee population which harbor the same animosity that the LGBTQI people were subjected to in their home communities. Noting that LGBTQI refugee are often physically attacked by local police in host countries as well as fellow heterosexual refugees.
When giving such speeches I fall short of the words of those experiencing the agony. I am posting the words of a refugee who I shall keep anonymous:
In the words of a LGBTQI refugee in Kenya pleading to UNHCR and the World:
I’m so eking out in a meagre existenceLiving in a subsist state of limbo, lingering on streets sleeping hungryMy predicament ain’t that far from those killed and dragged by authoritiesAbducted , beaten and forced to relocate frequently to avoid the scrutiny and potential hostility from the communityI face difficulty in reporting all the threats, attacks to police due to constant vulnerable abuses and extortion by the police itselfEmployment and shelter are incredibly hard to come byMy acquaintances are targetedDanger lurks everyday while enduring all the suffering in uncertaintyNo support for my emotional problemsRoutinely denied basic human rightsDespite the overwhelming evidence of my claims and concerns, you have appeared largely in administering my miseryThe journey is extremely traumatic, invasive and long- winded with no guarantee of changeReally lost hope and faith in a system plagued by insensitivity and inefficiencyStill denied access, suffer discrimination at your hands in attempt to access assistance from youI’m finding it hard to find effective protection and lasting solutionsDo you see that your unexplained delays and reason for not accessing services cause me to suffer?(Profound uncertainty)I have no power to push my case forward nor ask out information on why my case is being delayed or why it’s in Kakuma as you claimed?Why deprived of the most basic information about my fate?I wonder whether you really consider the hardships I endure in this unfriendly environmentIs it the reason you together with the brutal enforcement of Kenya Detention policy (which against a standing court order) push refugees to camps illegally?I have tried accessing services and you have declined everything claiming my data belongs to Kakuma refugee camp yet all the documentation I possess belong to urban,the little services received and a matter of fact emails you send me as attached belowWhy I’m I unable to get recognized as a person with equality?Human as you, made of flesh and bonesWhy only see trivial things?I may not be able to speak for myself with greater voices and dignity as you do but I too have human rightsAll the ignored pain within meSincerely stabs with a 1000 knivesConstantly escaping and escaping hate only to face hellWhy is this the only outcome to my fate?I’m really so trapped!Speaking like a parrot to eaglesHave obeyedOnly to become a rotten tomato stepped on by thorny shoesForced to fit inI can’t speak upNot a wordI can’t stand up for my rightsMy soul is goneYou took it from meJust like a gun takes away light and brings darknessWhat can I do?I’m your slaveA prisoner bound to your chainsWill this be my fate forever?Don’t I have rights and freedom?But where’s everything?All goneTaken by you!I really appreciate____Redacted____’s effort towards helping LGBTIQ refugees though she ain’t in office anymoreHer effort was sincere and efficient!Now…..Whom shall I run to?I’m severely pained