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The criminalisation and persecution of people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Intersex is happening right now in 72 countries across the world,  and has led to many fleeing for their lives and seeking sanctuary , particularly from those countries which still have the death sentence, if convicted.

The Pride Without Borders group in Leicester says, “For those who have fled their countries of origin due to persecution because of being LGBT, this is how Freedom tastes…  to be who you are: no death threats, no persecution but who you are is what matters!!”

Local Organisations

Rainbow Sisters – a London group set up by Women for Refugee Women for women seeking sanctuary who identify as lesbian, providing activities, support, advocacy and resources. 

Pride Without Borders – A support and guidance network that is part of the City of Sanctuary network, specifically for LGBT+ asylum seekers and refugees in and around Leicester

ReachOUT Leeds – A charity in Leeds for sanctuary seekers who have had to flee their home country because of their sexuality and/or gender identity

Unity Centre Glasgow LGBT Asylum Seekers Helpline

You can also contact your local LGBT Centre. A list of other LGBT organisations (not necessarily specialists in asylum cases) can be found here. 

The Outside Project LGBTIQ+ Crisis/Homeless Shelter & Community Centre in London

National Organisations

Rainbow Immigration formerly UKLGIG (UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group) – A national charity providing links to support groups, resources and a list of specialist solicitors nationally

LGBT Health Refugee Support Project

Say It Loud Club provides advocacy and support for LGBT+ refugees and asylum seekers in the UK

Micro Rainbow provides safe housing, access to employment, volunteering, training and education for  LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees

Living Free UK provide support and validate the lived experiences of LGBTIQ+ Africans, people seeking asylum, and refugees.

Persian Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans Advisory Services (PLGBT)

African Rainbow Family, a non-profit organisation offering support to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTIQ) People of African Heritage including Refugees and wider Black and Asian Minority Ethnic Groups),

House of Guramayle, a platform that advocates for the respect and dignity of the LGBTI+ Ethiopian community.

Let Voice be Heard is an informal Facebook support group supporting LGBQIA+ asylum seekers from Bangladesh, Pakistan and India)

Stonewall has a useful section on the asylum process. 

The Human Dignity Trust is a legal charity that supports those who want to challenge anti-gay laws wherever they exist in the world. Their website includes a library of case law and legal analysis

Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants (LGSMigrants) is an activist group fundraising and taking direct action in solidarity with migrants


Rainbow Railroad helps LGBTQI+ people escape state-sponsored violence.

OUTRIGHT ACTION iNTERNATIONAL – OutRight works at the international, regional and national levels to research, document, defend, and advance human rights for LGBTIQ people around the world. They partner directly with human rights organisations in various regions.  

Rainbow Street is an international protection organization for LGBTQ people in the Middle East & North Africa


‘A history of providing sanctuary? LGBT+ asylum claims in the UK‘ – An article by Right to Remain

The Home Office has published statistics on asylum claims on the basis of sexuality between 1 July 2015 and 31 March 2017 (published Nov 2017)

This article includes maps that illustrate the discrimination faced by those who are LGBT around the world. 

The Human Dignity Trust has in-depth country information. 

Making an asylum claim based on sexuality and/or gender identity

The UKLGIG (UK Gay and Lesbian Immigration Group) recommends seeking specialist legal advice before making a claim for asylum on the basis of sexuality and/or gender identity. 

They have written an Overview of the Asylum System for claims based on sexuality and/or gender identity and have a database of solicitors specialising in this area.

Stonewall also has a useful section on the asylum process.

The Peter Tatchell Foundation has an advice page for LGBT refugees

For more general information about finding legal advice, please see our section on Information for Sanctuary Seekers.

An article about the documentary ‘Mr Gay Syria’ which looks at the way the LGBT community is treated in Syria and abroad

‘Where Love is Illegal’ – an Instagram project documenting LGBTIQ+ stories of survival from across the world

The play ‘Nine Lives’ by Zodwa Nyoni explores the life of Ishmael, a Zimbabwean refugee in Leeds. The play has been on a national tour and the website includes a video of the play

The play ‘The Rolling Stone’ by Chris Urch explores the persecution of homosexuality in Uganda

Iceandfire have developed a play ‘This is Who I Am’ – First-hand accounts of LGBT+ people seeking asylum in the UK about their experiences in their own country and on arrival in the UK, addressing the particular challenges they face. Iceandfire can perform readings of their plays on request.