Help Save My Friend T's Life

Help save my friend T’s life!

My friend is LGBT, which can be a death sentence in his home country, Nigeria. His life is in such danger that I cannot use his name or his image. After coming to the US and requesting asylum, he spent over a year in immigration detention and was deported.  Now he is in hiding and needs to leave as soon as possible for a safe country.

I visited T in detention for 6 months and found a loving, warm, thoughtful, intelligent person with many interests and a lot to say.   He has become like family to me.

The Situation in Nigeria

Nigeria has always been dangerous for LGBTs, who are threatened and attacked by “traditional” forces in society, religious extremists, and militias hand in hand with police. In 2014, a law was passed outlawing homosexuality, with a 14-year prison sentence as punishment to those who are “caught.” This gave new energy to mobs who attack, torture and kill gays. 

T experienced two near-fatal attacks and his boyfriend was murdered. Friends and family members spent every cent they had to help him flee to the US. He applied for asylum and after more than a year in detention, he was deported. His case was denied on technical grounds and he may still be able to pursue an appeal. But now the most important thing is to keep him alive.
(artwork by Sarah Van Arsdale,

How the $5,100 will be spent
(We have had to increase this goal. Please see the notes below for details.)

$2,200                    plane fare
$150                       passport fee
$250                       visa fee
$75                         travel to airport
$500                       medical test for visa application (fee increased from $200 to $500 as of Oct. 1)
$100                       asylum application
$100                       medications
$1,000                   travel and initial living expenses (increased to include unanticipated expenses)
$500                       clothes & luggage* (increased $300 to buy warm clothes for destination)
$225                       phone*

                                   (*replacements for items not returned by ICE)

Why I'm Doing This

T is like a brother to me, and the thought of anything happening to him breaks my heart.  Since our country wouldn’t welcome him – unfairly, in my view – I have to do whatever I can to keep him safe.

I really appreciate that you are considering helping with this campaign! Please donate what you can. And please share this GoFundMe as widely as possible on  Facebook, Twitter, email – however you get in touch with your friends and wider communities.

Please help! T’s life depends on it.


Ilana Wallach
New York, NY

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