LGBTQ Refugees Face Unimaginable Trauma, But They’re Rising Up

Many refugees have experienced trauma — the trauma of being expelled from home, of watching loved ones get killed, of being wounded, of living with a painful past and an uncertain future.

But LGBTQ people often face unique difficulties both in how they become refugees and in the long aftermath.

A new photo series called “Free to Be Me” by the photographer Steven Laxton at the The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York profiles LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers who have arrived in the US and are taking control of their lives.

Far from being tales of victimization, these portraits show resounding courage and resilience. After fleeing unimaginable suffering, many of them are thriving in their new communities.

“I heard some horrendous stories, people thrown in prison, facing life imprisonment and death threats for simply loving people,” Laxton told Global Citizen. “I wanted to show how we shouldn’t take for granted the civil rights that have been earned in this country.”

Global Citizen recently spoke with Laxton and the organizers of the exhibit to learn more about the issues facing LGBTQ refugees. Read more via Global Citizen