On October 31, I am walking 38.8 miles from San Francisco to Mountain View to fundraise for LGBTQ+ Refugees.
There has been no dearth of bad news since the pandemic started, but none of it hit me harder than Afghanistan's. The notion that so many Afghans born after 2001 enjoyed the basic freedoms of free speech and a right to education and then had those freedoms taken away overnight hit really hard. Seeing the throngs of would-be asylum seekers attempting to escape, I could not avoid thinking of my relative luck in having been able to leave the Middle East on my own terms to study and live out my life as an out-gay man in peace.
Refugees escaping persecution have to walk 1000s of miles across unwelcoming terrain in the hope of finding refuge. More than 69 countries criminalize homosexuality, making LGBTQ+ refugees especially vulnerable. In an ode to those refugees, on October 31 I will be walking the 38.8 miles from San Francisco to Google's headquarters in MTV. This comparatively short journey --- even if it feels long in rush hour traffic! --- will be made to fundraise for Rainbow Street , a SF-based NGO that supports LGBTQ+ people in crisis in the Middle East including helping refugees from Jordan, Syria, and Afghanistan start their lives anew.
If you’re in the Bay, join me on the walk --- by signing up for either the whole thing or 1 of the 3 ≅13 mile segments --- and donate to this fundraiser for Rainbow Street.
#middleeast #lgbtq #refugeesupport