Many of my friends and family have asked what they could do to help David, or his family in our time of crisis. I'm trying to compile a list of resources and solutions for them and you to review.
Here is how you can help:
1.) Remember to always respond in love. The three major religions of the world, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity all teach love and forgiveness firts.
2.) Understand that throughout the world, and even in parts of the United States, it isn't safe to be gay without facing hostility whether it be physical, verbal, or emotional abuse here in the USA to decapitation, hanging, or other forms of punishment for being gay. Support any gay person who just needs to be themselves. Love them.
3.) If you get a chance to support someone who has escaped this persecution, do it. Write letters of support for asylum cases, offer resources to nonprofits helping refugees (gay and straight), and encourage your house and senate representatives at the federal level to pressure other governments to change their laws or face consequences.
David was an HIV/Aids social worker in Nigeria reaching out to anyone who needed help. Much of his work meant that he was working with closeted gay men to make sure they were getting medicine and using condoms. Because of this work, he was a target of the Nigerian government and faced harassment and jail time simply for trying to help gay men, even though he was not out at the time.
Fortunately, David was then supported to come and live here, seek asylum, and no longer face the jail time, harassment, and death threats just for helping gay men. When he got here, he was able to come out.
We are beyond grateful for Housing Works for creating, funding, and managing this project. It has not been cheap, easy, or always working well, but it means that David is safe. I get the added bonus that I got to meet the man of my dreams and marry him.
If you can support any organization right now, Housing Works seems to be doing the most work to help those people seeking asylum. They can currently only help 12 people each year. That is not even a tiny fraction of the people needing to escape from Nigeria alone. Your support of them can and will help.
As I come upon more resources, I will share them. Thanks and blessings upon you all.