LGBTQ Refugees


HIAS welcomes all refugees, including people who identify as LGBTQ. HIAS supports LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers in critical ways to help them access their rights and rebuild their lives with dignity.

Throughout our country offices around the world, and in our affiliate network across the United States, HIAS provides comprehensive legal aid, economic inclusion, mental health, and gender-based violence prevention and support services to LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers.

Learn more about our work to support LGBTQ refugees from the articles and videos below. Join us in celebrating Pride and welcoming all refugees into your community.


(Betsy Joles for HIAS)

In Poland, Airbnbs Offer Refuge for War-weary Ukrainians

Jul 05, 2022

WARSAW – Housing was an afterthought when Oksana Bezkorovaina arrived in Poland from bordering Ukraine with her daughter Masha and sister, Maryna. The trio had been through the wringer trying to make it out of their home in Kharkiv, where they would sleep in the basement with their shoes on — ready to flee at any moment. 

 Magdiel Galeano Gómez (right) and his husband Jeffrey (left) attend Costa Rica’s pride march on June 26, 2022 in San Jose.

Economic Inclusion Programs Help LGBTQ Activist Build a Business – and a New Life

Jun 30, 2022

As a political and LGBTQ activist, Magdiel Galeano Gómez had to flee Nicaragua after multiple attempts on his life. With HIAS Costa Rica by his side, he and his husband were able to build new lives – and a thriving ecologically-friendly business.
At Risk and in Need Report cover

At Risk and in Need

Jun 08, 2022

The international community has provided an unprecedented level of support to people fleeing Ukraine, but despite this response, vulnerable populations are at risk. This HIAS policy brief examines the serious protection risks that certain groups are experiencing and recommendations to address these gaps.

Waiting for the Sky to Close

May 25, 2022

As part of a partnership with HIAS, VOICE conducted a four-week rapid assessment of Ukraine and five bordering countries to assess the needs of women and girls affected by the war and the needs of WROs and groups responding to the emergency.

2021: A Year In Review

Dec 22, 2021

2021 may not have been much better than 2020, but HIAS remained committed to providing vital services worldwide, reaching more than 1.1 million displaced people.

Preventing GBV Involves Everyone

Nov 25, 2021

Preventing GBV is a collective responsibility and HIAS programs reflect that everybody — every individual, every organization — has a role to play.

Welcome for All: Supporting LGBTQ Refugees at Home and Abroad

Even as we celebrate hard-fought wins for LGBTQ rights here in the U.S., countless refugees and asylum seekers continue to flee their homes to escape persecution on the basis of sexual orientation,

WATCH: I Never Thought It Will Happen to Me

Jun 24, 2021

The story of Baraka, a gay man who fled his home in Rwanda after his sexuality was discovered, and the critical help he has received from HIAS Kenya.

WATCH: To Start Another Life, Free

Jun 17, 2021

Ilia, a gay man originally from Russia, has been able to restart his life in safety in the U.S. In this original video, he recounts his ordeal, his escape from Russia, and how he has “learned to be free” in his new homeland.

'Am I Going to Make It Until Tomorrow?': A Gay Refugee’s Escape from Persecution

Jun 16, 2021

Yusuf, a gay man from eastern Africa, endured years of isolation, abuse, and several close brushes with death because of his sexuality. But now, with the help of HIAS and its local resettlement partners, he's rebuilding his life in safety and dignity.