We Stand With LGBT Refugees

I am Geoffrey Rainbo.  I gave myself this name.  I am Ugandan by nationality.  I am gay.  I am 23 years old, the second child of my parents.  My parents did not accept my sexual orientation and cast me out of their house.  I was in school at the time and was forced to end my studies.  I would very much like to continue them. 

I sought asylum in neighboring Kenya where a Catholic priest took me in.  In his house, I met my friend Gideon, a transgendered person.  Not long after, about five years ago, the Ugandan government introduced the “Kill the Gays Bill,” which would have made being gay a crime punishable by death.  That bill was prompted and promoted in my home country by United States evangelicals.  While the bill was defeated in court, it ignited a massive homophobic response that no one could have anticipated and that crossed borders into Kenya.  The priest that was kind enough to help me faced death threats and my friend Gideon was burned alive.

I have not seen my family in nearly five years.  My heart is broken over and over again as I still feel their rejection, and it does not seem to matter at all that I miss them.

After I left the priest, to spare him, I came to live in the Kakuma Refugee camp, run by the United Nations High Commission on Refugees.  We lived in tents with dirt floors.  Life at the camp was far worse than just being homeless.  The other refugees in the camp were just as homophobic and violent as many of the people I fled from.  Food and medication was scarce and the camp was subject to flooding.  I was forced to flee the camp also and made my way to Kitengela transit center in Nairobi where I currently am. 

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I do not miss Uganda at all. I faced many challenges when I was there: family rejection, which pains me all the time; and it hasn’t been safe since the “Kill the Gays Bill.”  You can still be killed and the government will condone it or you can be sentenced to many years in prison.

Life in Kenya is better, but not by much.  We are not allowed to work because we are not citizens and even if we could LGBT discrimination in employment is legal and rampant.

I am humbly begging for funds for shelter, medication, and food for myself as well as my brothers and sisters here at the center (there are 5 of us).  This fundraising goal will help us sustain ourselves for two months.

We all hope and pray for the day where we are resettled and have a chance at a future where we are able to love our selves and each other.  We stand as one.

Donations ()

  • Kenny Lee 
    • $66 
    • 1 mo
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 2 mos
  • Leo George 
    • $35 
    • 3 mos
  • J T 
    • $10 
    • 4 mos
  • Leo George 
    • $10 
    • 4 mos
See all

Organizer

Wes McGaughey 
Organizer
San Francisco, CA
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