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Digital Subscriptions > GCN > 352 > NO SAFE REFUGE

NO SAFE REFUGE

Rampant homophobia and violence in Honduras has led to an influx of LGBT+ people seeking sanctuary in an unwelcoming US. Linda Farthing reports.

It wasn’t the first caravan of desperate Central American refugees that made its way to the US border, but the late 2018 march was the first with a visible LGBT+ presence. Facing discrimination from their fellow migrants, some 80 LGBT+ people had banded together for support and protection. Soon after they were the first to reach the US-Mexico frontier in Tijuana, seven couples from among them held a group wedding.

Many of the refugees were from Honduras where violence and impunity are endemic for large swathes of the population. Homophobia aggravates the levels of violence, as two 2017 reports, one by Amnesty International and the other by Human Rights Watch, make clear. “In a couple of years in the neighbourhood I lived in, four transgender people and three gay men were murdered,” explains Jose Cortes who now lives in San Diego, California. “I knew I had to get out.”

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About GCN

This month at GCN we celebrate the elder members of our fabulous LGBT+ family with an exceptional series of articles and opinion pieces. As our centrepiece, you'll find a glorious photographic celebration of individual style shot by the exceptional Babs Daly. There's a loving look at Bridie's Bar in The George, alongside an investigation of rural LGBT+ life. Greenbow fill us in on what it's like to be deaf in the LGBT+ community and we profile a member of Identity - the group for LGBT+ asylum seekers. There's also a hard-hitting piece on the rise in homophobic violence in Honduras. In light of news that Teach Solais could face closure, we speak to those whose lives it has changed for the better. Let’s rally the community and get behind the West's only LGBT+ resource centre