A woman in a rainbow dress on stage with balloons.

To celebrate our 30th anniversary, we spoke to many of the people who are an important part of our history. Below, Arthur Britney, a member of our campaigns advisory group, told us what Rainbow Migration means to them.

I first came across Rainbow Migration soon after I arrived in the UK in 2017. At the time I was identifying as a gay man. One of the very first things I did was research support for LGBTQI+ people seeking asylum. I found the Rainbow Migration website, which was so helpful and informative, and contacted them about their group meetings. Knowing an organisation like this existed, with in-person support, made me feel safer. 

I went to a meeting in Birmingham and met a support worker from Rainbow Migration. Even though my English was terrible, I was treated with so much kindness. The support worker was really helpful; she explained what I needed to do and helped me feel less panicked. When you start the asylum process, you’re not an expert, you don’t know anything. you don’t understand what will happen. I was very scared. The support worker really calmed me down and reassured me. It was exactly what I needed. I had just escaped my country. The support worker explained the asylum process to me and advised me to contact the Home Office. 

Thanks to the Rainbow Migration support worker, I contacted the Home Office, who moved me to Liverpool, and I began to feel a bit happier. Having faced persecution and discrimination in my country of origin, I was able to start exploring my gender identity in the UK. I felt free in Liverpool; I was able to wear what I wanted and to really be myself. Finally, I felt safe to come out as non-binary. I got granted refugee status in 2020. I was the first person to be granted asylum in the UK on the basis of being non-binary.  

Rainbow Migration has a lot to celebrate, and I am proud to be part of that. It Is so important to so many people and should be proud of all it does.”

In 2022 I began working with Rainbow Migration as a volunteer for their No Pride In Detention campaign. Kiki, one of the trustees, asked me if I wanted to be part of the campaigns advisory group; I was so grateful for the opportunity. As part of the group, I’ve contributed to the production of the campaign film, spoken at National Student Pride, recorded a podcast, and helped out at events. It has given me the chance to learn professional skills, to have a say about issues important to me, to express myself, and meet lots of new people. Being part of the campaign has also led to new opportunities for collaboration and has really helped me grow as a person. Being part of No Pride In Detention has had such a positive impact on my development.  

Rainbow Migration has a lot to celebrate, and I am proud to be part of that. We are on the right side of history. While rights are consistently under threat, in the UK, and the rest of the world, we will always fight to protect LGBTQI+ people who are seeking safety. It’s scary to go through uncertain times, but organisations like Rainbow Migration make such a difference to so many people’s lives. In the future, I really hope the organisation can keep expanding its services for trans people in the asylum system. Without that support, many would be invisible, and even more marginalised and isolated than they already are. Rainbow Migration Is so important to so many people and should be proud of all it does.