Why Immigration Issues are Important to the LGBT Community
I walked to the office today and I had a brief but unique conversation with one of the interns there who mentioned to me that one of her friends is both an undocumented immigrant and part of the lgbt community. For this blog I decided to address why lgbt immigration issues are important since I work primarily with the LGBT community. Such intersectionality between immigration and lgbt issues is exactly what makes this topic so relevant. I mentioned before the immigrant issues are lgbt issues and lgbt issues are immigrant issues, but how?
The way I see it, there are three main categories for why building relationships between the lgbt community and the immigrant community are important. The basic fact remains that both of these communities are going after the same result: social justice for their human-rights. When it comes to the lgbt community, however, unfair treatment to transsexuals and transgenders in deportation centers is a big issue. So is the treatment of HIV-positive individuals in those places. This is so because many of these individuals are not dealt with in respect to who they are and often times do not have access to hormonal and or HIV medical treatments.
The second category why lgbt-immigration work is important is that for many people outside the US, being a part of the lgbt community is considered a crime. Many people seek asylum to the US based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, but unfortunately while such asylums are granted in some rare cases, the process for granting asylum based on these issues is very difficult.
The third category is lgbt binational couples and the fact that they are denied immigration benefits as their heterosexual counterparts.
As a Uniting America Fellow, my job is to build relationships to strengthen communities and to solve problems. Human injustices whatever they msy be are a concern to everyone, and by shedding a light on the similarities in such struggles, rather than the difference, I believe we can make a greater difference in the world we live in.