Chase Karter Hermes Bakken is organizing this fundraiser on behalf of Mikhayl Dominguez.
Thank you everyone you all are amazing humans!
We have reached the amount we need for Mikhayl's lawyer/fees ($1,600.00) needed to give Mikhayl a fighting chance to stay in the U.S.
However if they do not approved him to stay I would like to raise extra money to make sure he can get
Reestablished in Venezuela.
We are all hoping for the best outcome possible but with our administration anything can happen unfortunately.
My dear friend Mikhayl is being threatend with deportation, if he does not raise $1,600.00 by Friday for his lawyer fee. (Time sensitive, payment needs to be paid by Friday the 13th ). Mikhayl is a special education assistant in a Minneapolis public school who has dedicated his life to helping children with special needs. He was formally a teacher for St. Paul public school. We are trying to raise enough money to give him a chance to stay in the U.S. $1,600.00 if that fails we would like to raise enough money so that he could establish himself if he is forced to return to Venesula, which would be unsafe for him in general but especially because he identifies as part of the LGBT community.
Here is his story.
My name is Mikha I am 30 years old, I am originally from Caracas, Venezuela, and I need your help.
When I was 16, I came out of the closet to my parents. They did not take it very well. My mother kicked me out of the house, and I was forced to live for a year in the home of a cousin.
Venezuela is a completely macho and misogynistic country where gay men, such as myself, are neither allowed basic human rights in terms of health and safety, nor are given any level of respect or integrity. Because of my sexuality, I was assaulted and robbed at gunpoint three times. I endured physical, verbal, and emotional abuse by all members of the community, including doctors and police. All bystanders there refused to help.
In Venezuela, being gay is synonymous with aberration, shame, disease, and evil, especially by fellow members of the Christian community. In church I was discriminated against for my sexuality, and I often heard homophobic phrases and slurs like "Being gay is damnable." or "God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve." or "Get out of here, fagot!". Sometimes it's better to pretend you didn’t hear and keep walking. "Leave, sinner!" It didn’t matter, don’t bother, it doesn’t hurt. "You're a fucking (…)!". But sometimes you just can’t ignore the voices. It is impossible not to be angry and demand respect.
In Venezuela, gays who are lucky enough to get a job, are not considered for advancement, regardless of their years of experience, simply for their sexuality. I was told at interviews or promotion meetings, "We simply can’t give you the job (or promote you) because you're gay. People will not come to our organization if they see a homosexual in this important position."
In Venezuela, families are ashamed to be associated with homosexuals. Being gay, they label us, they judge us, they exclude us, and they refuse to acknowledge us, no matter how responsible, caring, and hardworking we are. From my neighbors, I heard, "Avoid Mikhayl, he is gay, and that’s sick," or "We will not visit Judith (my mother) because her son is queer." or "You should die! My son wants to be like you, and you're gay." My uncle and his family were kidnapped a few years ago, and received physical, psychological, and verbal abuse. Even within my family, I received physical and verbal abuse because I was sick for being gay.
In Venezuela, I was victim of police abuse. In 2008, after being seen kissing a guy I was dating in front of his home, police officers took us to the police station and put us in separate rooms. There they beat me, insulted me. After that, I moved cities, but I could not leave the house, always living in terror that it would happen again.
In Venezuela, I received medical malpractice by doctors. just because of my sexual orientation. I was told by the dentist: “Hold on. You are a man, and I have no more anesthesia. Be a man, fagot, hold on!” From a general surgeon, I was told: “The pelvic abscess at the bottom of your spine opened because you are gay, and you like dicks. You can’t have just one hole, you need two holes I get more dicks.” I have not been back to the doctor since because I'm afraid of what they will tell me, just for being gay. I still have that problem.
In Venezuela, where deep religious roots and machismo prevail, discussing the rights of homosexuals highlights the intolerance and persecution we face. We are designated as sick, misguided, immoral, and cursed. We are forced to live in exclusion and secrecy, and to observe the complacent silence taken by administrators of justice. Just as our families prefer to ignore us homosexuals, the courts in this country also prefer to turn a blind eye. Even though our rights as humans are enshrined in the Venezuelan constitution--“ALL PEOPLE ARE EQUAL BEFORE THE LAW, WE HAVE ALL RIGHTS, AND NO DISCRIMINATION IS ALLOWED.”--this is not the reality. I, as a gay man, have no basic human rights, no security, no one who can help or protect me, nothing.
I am terrified about the possibility of having to return to Venezuela, the most macho and homophobic country in Latin America. I do not want to return to be a victim of the hate crimes gay men continue to endure there, such as burnings by gasoline, robberies, and armed assaults.
I left this dire situation in Venezuela almost four years ago and came to the United States. Here, I made a home for myself in Minnesota. I found my passion working with kids of all backgrounds; they have been my strength to keep going and my encouragement to see better the better aspects of life. I found friends and family who are always there to lend a hand or give advice without asking for anything in return. My life has improved. I have grown as a professional and as a human being. I have finally found a place where I feel safe, I am shown respect, and I am not discriminated against.
The process for asylum has not been easy, but it has finally reached its end. Thank you to all of you who have helped me get this far. I have a court date and an immigration interview scheduled this later this month. However, in order to prepare and attend these proceedings, I must raise $1,600.00 by Friday 13th. Even the smallest donation will help. I will be forever grateful for any contribution.
Please help me to stay here. This is my home.