Refugee Congress Statement for Pride Month

As Pride Month draws to a close, Refugee Congress celebrates the life, dignity and resilience of LGBTQ+ refugees, asylum seekers/asylees and other vulnerable migrants. 

We recognize that members of our communities who identify as LGBTQ+ may have fled persecution based on their sexual or gender identify, and even as they found some safety in the U.S., they still face discrimination, hardships and threats to their lives and well-being.

During this month, we remember the tragic Pulse Nightclub shooting four years ago, and we honor those who have tragically lost their lives because of targeted, hate-motivated violence. 

Refugee Congress applauds the Supreme Court ruling that protects LGBTQ+ people from workplace discrimination. At the same time, we condemn the Administration’s reversal of an earlier ruling that protected transgender people from discrimination within the health care system. This new rule from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is potentially life-threatening for transgender members of our communities.

As people who have fled violence and persecution in our countries of origin, we cannot ignore the levels of hate and violence too many members of LGBTQ+ communities continue to face, including violence perpetrated by those who are supposed to protect us. We also recognize after the tragic deaths last week of Riah Milton and Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells that Black LGBTQ+ community members face even greater risks. 

We pledge to educate ourselves and others to better understand the unique challenges facing LGBTQ+ members of our communities. We commit ourselves to speak up and take action — within both our local and national communities — to ensure these rights are protected.