There is a strong and diverse community of LGBTQIA+ asylum seeker and refugees here in the Pacific North West. We fled violence in our home countries and the PNW welcomed us through resettlement. Many of us work in hotels and restaurants and bars and construction. We suddenly have NO work and no way to pay our rents or even for food. If you are fortunate to be able to work from home, please help us weather this storm.
We are from Honduras, from Iran, from Tunisia, from Lebanon, from Syria, from Afghanistan and from Guatemala and we speak more than fifteen languages. We come from a variety of backgrounds and live all over Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
However, even in the best of times, as LGBTQIA+ asylum seekers and refugees we face a unique challenge. After fleeing discrimination for our sexuality or gender identity in the countries where we were born, in good times many of us still face discrimination here for our race, our religion, or the language we speak.
We are fortunate to have legal asylum in America. Most of us have overcome a lot of adversity and spent years risking our lives waiting for resettlement in America. It has been hard to find work but we work hard, for long hours every day that we can.
Most of us work in the service industry, in the food industry and in construction. We are not getting shifts, and we are not getting paid leave. We can't work from home, because you can't build an apartment building or load a truck or prepare a meal on a laptop.
Many of us do not have insurance. If we go to a hospital we may not be able to pay. Since we are legally refugees but not citizens, we may not enjoy the same help from the government for our missed work and our medical care. Please, if you have work and an income during this time, show your solidarity and help us weather this storm.
Thank you to the Salaam Cultural Museum (SCM)'s SCM Medical Missions for helping us through this gofundme. They are collecting these funds to distribute to members of our community. Learn more about their work with refugees locally and in the Middle East here: https://www.scmmedicalmissions.org
We have many skills and are looking for any possible online work during this time. If you have any online work which requires: Arabic, Farsi, Spanish, French, data entry, research etc, please contact SCM so that we can be in touch:
Are you a member of our community? Contact SCM if you're in need of support.