Building a Rainbow Network
In our mission to assist LGBT+ people in places around the world where their lives are particularly difficult and where they face extraordinary homophobia, we have made some important steps forward by establishing and strengthening contacts in additional countries.
Uganda, Jamaica, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala are just a few of the most homophobic countries in the world. Gay, lesbian and trans people are despised, persecuted and often hurt, beaten up or even killed. They live in societies that not only offer no protection, but where homophobia is deliberately incited by politicians and churches. An everyday life unimaginable for us, which is a perpetual reality for LGBT+ people in those places.
Many of them are trying to flee their homelands. But where to? Borders are closed and illegal escape routes are often life-threatening. Only very few individuals manage to get to safe countries where they can apply for humanitarian asylum. But what happens to the others? What about those who have no chance of ever getting a visa, who barely have enough to survive, let alone money to travel. Our outreach is to benefit those who cannot flee and must struggle to survive under terrible circumstances.
In such places even the suspicion that someone might be gay, lesbian or trans can be reason enough to get fired from a job, get expelled from the home by a landlord and/or get disowned and chased away by one's own family. It's not only the police or other governmental authorities which constitute the greatest threat to LGBT+ people's life and safety. Very often danger comes from family, neighbors and society at large who will not hesitate to punish someone violently for being, in their view, the cause of shame and embarrassment.
Above all, we have realized that sustainable help for LGBT+ people who have to live in homophobic societies is to provide them with education. Learning school knowledge and practical, vocational skills strengthens individual self-esteem and enables economic independence. In this way, an LGBT+ community can build a strong social network among themselves. And this, in turn, is the key to success and a basic sense of peace and belonging even within a hostile environment.
RAINBOW SUPPORT NETWORK
An aid and support network for homosexual, bisexual and transgender people in places around the world where they face discrimination, imprisonment, torture or even death.