Country of origin: Mexico
Arrival in the U.S.: 1997
Ms. Jacque Larrainzar came to the United States from Mexico in 1997, and was the first Mexican lesbian to win political asylum in the United States on the basis of her sexual orientation. Ms. Larrainzar currently lives in Seattle, Washington and works as an Immigrant and Refugee Outreach Specialist for Seattle Counseling Service. She leads the LGBTQ Immigrant Refugee and Undocumented Outreach Project (IRUO), which is a research project designed to uncover the barriers faced by LGBTQ immigrants, refugees, and undocumented individuals to accessing behavioral health services. Prior to her work for Seattle Counseling Service, Ms. Larrainzar worked with the City of Seattle Office for Civil Rights for 14 years in different capacities, and was a legal advocate with The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. In 2006, Mayor Greg Nickels and The City of Seattle Latino Employees awarded Ms. Larrainzar the “Hispanic Heritage Award” for her efforts and commitment to serve the Latino Community. As a political asylee to the U.S., Ms. Larrainzar is extremely committed to helping immigrant, refugee, and undocumented communities learn to organize for their rights.