Nowhere Left To Run: The reality of being a queer asylum seeker

The need for asylum or refuge to our country can’t be more personified than through the queer and transgender asylum seekers making its way to our southern borders.

Recently, AP published an article that follows the 50 or so LGBTQ asylum seekers that are part of the caravan. According to the article, and to no surprise, many of these queer migrants are facing discrimination and harassment left and right on their long journey, the same type of harassment and discrimination they left their homes for in the first place.

Even from fellow caravan asylum seekers.

“They have denigrated us. Supposedly you’re emigrating from your country because of the violence, the discrimination, the homophobia, and it turns out that in the very caravan you face this kind of violence,” Lady Perez, a 23 year-old from Honduras told AP.

Many of these transgender and queer asylum seekers joined the caravan with no choice, with many leaving as a result of death threats.

“If my breasts were going to grow, they would cut them off,” Loly, another transgender woman told AP about the anonymous threats that ultimately made her join the caravan.

Lady, Loly, and the rest of the approcimately 50 LGBTQ asylum seekers are human beings that have been left no choice but to run for their lives. It is ridiculous to think that the Trump administration, but more specifically Jeff Sessions, can stand from the other side of the border and deny asylum or refugee to queer people.

Lynly Egyes, director of litigation at the Transgender Law Center in Oakland, California told AP that even with proof of persecution for being transgender, asylum is still difficult. Egyes also said it can be nearly impossible for a transgender person to be granted asylum without legal representation.

Even now that Jeff Sessions is gone, forced to quit by Trump himself, Sessions still has a calvary of former staffers and loyallist in the administration that can keep doing his racist and xenophobic work.

Prime example, Stephen Miller.

We need to ensure that these queer migrants who have endured so much abuse their entire lives , both physical and mental, be given the opportunity to seek refugee in a country that was founded on the belief that all men are created equal.

How can an old white man, or young jewish man in Miller’s case, be capable of comprehending the complexity and difficulties of being gay or transgender in a still homophobic third world country.

Policies that deny asylum or refuge to people like Lady or Loly are inhumane and portray an untruthful picture of the queer-friendly American people who have fought so diligently for equal human rights in our country.