Pride: The right to be safe and to be yourself

For Pride season, we have come together with Micro Rainbow and Refugee Action to highlight the voices of LGBTQI+ people who have or are seeking refugee status in the UK.

Many LGBTQI+ people come to the UK looking for protection, fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries.

As part of their asylum applications, LGBTQI+ people have to “prove” their sexual orientation or gender identity. They are expected to explain details of their personal lives, that they have never discussed with anyone else before, to strangers at the Home Office, who then decide whether they believe them or not.

trans people for Pride: The right to be safe and to be yourself campaign
The challenges of going through the asylum system

Michael, from West Africa; Zarith, from Southeast Asia; and Tony, from Africa, are three gay men who came to the UK because they weren’t safe back home. In the videos below they explain their story.

LGBTQI+ people seeking asylum are often housed in inappropriate accommodation, with people who are LGBTQI-phobic. In some cases, they can also be placed in immigration detention, where bullying and abuse are widespread, and isolation can be even more extreme.

As this government passes the cruel Refugee Ban Bill through Parliament, things will become even more challenging for people seeking protection here. Many more LGBTQI+ people might end up locked up in immigration detention for long periods of time and sent away to countries where it is dangerous for LGBTQI+ people to be open about their sexual orientation or gender identity.

A man with a rainbow colored face is holding a straw.
The Refugee Ban Bill and a message to the Home Secretary

We asked Zarith, Michael, and Tony what they think about the Refugee Ban Bill and what they would like to say to the Home Secretary.

For many LGBTQI+ people across the globe, celebrating Pride is not only impossible but also unthinkable. Pride celebrations across the UK might be their first-ever experience of visibility and celebration. While Michael and Zarith have already celebrated Pride, for Tony, Pride 2023 is going to be his first!

A group of men dressed up in rainbow paint on a street.
Celebrating Pride

Despite the many challenges they have all faced, Zarith, MIchael, and Tony are looking forward to celebrating Pride this year.

It’s not too late for the Prime Minister to stop the Refugee Ban Bill! Add your name to show these cruel plans do not represent us.

Sign the petition now