Helping LGBTQIA+ immigrants endure adversity in the U.S.

Helping LGBTQIA+ immigrants endure adversity in the U.S.

Transgender and queer immigrants can face hardship in detention and when settling in the U.S. Here’s a group that helps LGBTQIA+ migrants. Protesters at a rally jointly organized by the Queer Detainee Empowerment Project in New York on 4 July 2021. (Photo...

Relocating and integrating to a new country is difficult on its own, but individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex or asexual are even more vulnerable, particularly in immigrant detention centers. Hanna Rahman, a student at The Hewitt School in New York City, reports on one organization’s work to aid, empower and advocate for LGBTQIA+ detainees and undocumented individuals.

The Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP) provides health, educational, legal and emotional assistance to the LGBTQIA+ migrant community, making sure to involve the community in planning and activities. QDEP’s grassroots model and inclusive strategy inspired Rahman to consider her own perception of how community service is organized.

Exercise: Ask students to compare large aid organizations such as UNICEF or the UN High Commission for Refugees with smaller grassroots organizations like QDEP. How are they similar and how are they different? What do they think is a more effective and equitable approach to humanitarian assistance?

Author: Hanna Rahman