Violence and persecution have driven migrants northwards to the American border—and often, into detention camps. Among these travelers are a fair number of LGBTQ persons.
These asylum-seekers are subject to double-persecution: first, from the violence in their countries, and second, from persecution due to sexuality and gender orientation.
Once they reach the American border, they can be subject to further harassment from legal stricture.
However, there are exceptions to official persecution of LGBTQ migrants. One of these hopeful moments is happening in Southern California.
According to the New York Times, “In Southern California and across the state, a formal and informal network of independent social service organizations has stepped up to help L.G.B.T. migrants, who remain extremely vulnerable even once they are in the United States.”
Heterosexual and cisgender migrants have slightly more options: homeless shelters, for example. But as the Times notes, “for transgender migrants there are virtually no options.”
These new California networks include a woman who has taken about a dozen trans women into her house; legal networks of support, advocacy groups, and volunteer way stations.