In this time of quarantine and massive loss of jobs, LGBTIQ+ asylum seekers are exposed to injustices even more
Around the world in the eyes of homophobic, transphobic and patriarchal societies the lives of LGBTIQ+ refugees and people seeking asylum worthless. Seeking safety, we hope that when we reach a safe country for LGBTIQ+ people, such as Australia, our lives for the first time will be valuable.
LGBTIQ+ refugees and people seeking asylum are very strong people who fought and found a way to escape. We aspire to live lives to the fullest potential. We all want to study, work, love and care. We dream the same as you.
Today the ordinary story of LGBTIQ+ people seeking asylum looks like this: no money to make a call to an NGO, no money for a bus ticket, no money to pay the rent, no money for food. Some already haven't eaten for days.
This what we are hearing:
“I have been working as a casual employee for the past year. Now I’ve lost my job. I do not know how I will pay my rent. I am very stressed. I am very scared.” J., LGBTIQ+ person seeking asylum
“In the last two weeks the business I work for has been slowing down. They’ve been cutting my shifts. Soon there won’t be any work.” A., LGBTIQ+ person seeking asylum
“Thank you for dropping me food tonight. This is my first proper meal in several days.” R., LGBTIQ+ person seeking asylum
“I dream that I better die than live like this. I have lost my SRSS. I’ve applied for 400 jobs and no one wants to hire me because of my Bridging visa. I can’t go on like this anymore.” M., LGBTIQ+ person seeking asylum
For many, it's hard to talk about this. We don't want to seem needy. We want to have a job. We want to be self-sufficient and not depend on someone's mercy. We cannot rely on the support from our ethnic communities or families. We are not eligible for any Centrelink payments or COVID-19 supplement payments.
We never wanted to be a burden to society. In Australia, many of us hoped to have a chance for a fair go.
This is an unprecedented time for all, but those of us who are constantly pushed to the margins, get hit the hardest.
Could you help us, LGBTIQ+ people seeking asylum, who are currently left without any support survive?
We are collecting money for those LGBTIQ people seeking asylum who are not existing clients of any organisations, for those who've been turned away, for those who are living in regional and rural areas and have no access to any services at all.
We know that there are many established community organisations helping people seeking asylum and refugees during this time. Below is the list of organisations that we have relationships with and who are supporting LGBTIQ+ people seeking asylum and refugees:
- Refugee Advice and Casework Service https://racs-emergency-appeal.raisely.com
- Asylum Seekers Centre (Sydney) https://www.asrc.org.au/donate/
How your donations will be used:
Through the work of the Queer Sisterhood Project (http://bit.ly/queer-sisterhood) we are in contact with LGBTIQ+ people seeking asylum. We are currently surveying them on their most immediate needs such as housing, food and health care. Your donations will be going directly to people to cover their expenses. Any help is greatly appreciated.