03/03/2018

Unfortunately unable to accept new members at present

Due to capacity issues, we are unfortunately unable to accept new members at present. We will post an update when we are open again to new members.

Please note the following organisations offer support to asylum seekers in Manchester:

  African Rainbow Family (ARF) https://africanrainbowfamily.org/ is a non-for-profit organisation that support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender intersexual and queer (LGBTIQ) people of African heritage. It was established in the wake of the toxic and draconian anti-gay laws, persecutions and environment which seek to criminalise LGBTIQs for the preference of whom they choose to love. ARF provides:
·         Support LGBTIQ Refugees and People Seeking Asylum
·         Campaigning For Global LGBTIQ Equality
·         Stand Against Hate Crimes
·         Support communities who face constant harassment, hate crimes and discrimination heaped on them by an ignorant society because of their sexuality or sexual preferences as well as transphobia

First Wednesday
Meetings of the First Wednesday group for LGBT asylum seekers take place at the LGBT Foundation from 3.30pm to 5.30pm on the first Wednesday of each month. Offer friendship, support and encouragement, and guidance on where you can receive further support.


Women Asylum Seekers Together http://www.wast.org.uk/what-is-wast/ 
  • Providing a safe and secure women only space and a source of support for each other, social and emotional
  • Empowerment for one another, sharing knowledge and information, skills and experiences.
  • Helping each other take forward our asylum applications and run campaigns.
  • Promoting and improving our skills and experience.
  • Involving ourselves in organisational and community development activities and networking with other groups.
  • Raising awareness and lobbying on Women’s Asylum issues.
  • Promoting a positive image of asylum seekers.

For information on further sources of support, please visit the following page on our website: LGBT asylum - useful information & support organisations


26/02/2018

Solidarity with the women at Yarl's Wood immigration detention centre

Solidarity with the women at Yarl's Wood immigration detention centre. Over a hundred women are on hunger strike there due to the inhumane conditions.
Many of our members have been detained there over the years, without rhyme nor reason, some multiple times. These women have then gone on to be granted leave to remain in the UK.
Check out the Detained Voices blog for updates https://detainedvoices.com/tag/yarls-wood/ 

18/02/2018

LGBT history month




Had a great day at Working Class Movement Library in Salford for LGBT history month talks. Thanks for making us so welcome. 
Betty & Magadaline spoke about issues faced by lesbian women in their countries of origin & issued they face seeking asylum in the UK. On one hand there is the joy of going to LGBT events & meeting others. But the pain of being disbelieved by Home Office, of homelessness.
It was great to meet writer & historian Jane Traies who was speaking about life in 1960s & 70s for lesbians in the UK. There was isolation, many women who loved women just married men due to stigma & family pressure. Lesbian women has their kids taken away, lost their jobs, had medical interventions to make them straight.
Betty said she was so happy to be amongst some older lesbians for a change 










THANK YOU to the organisers of HER MCR club night at Tribecca who were raising money for us at their Anti Valentines event. We had a great time, what a great atmosphere!











24/10/2017

22/10/2017

Please sign petition to support Patricia Simeon

******Please sign **** 



Patricia Simeon was detained at Yarls Wood Immigration Detention Centre on 18 October 2017. 


She is an active member of the LGBT community here in the UK. She is a founding member and chair of LASS (Lesbian Asylum Support Sheffield). 

If returned to her country of origin Sierra Leone she faces imprisonment and a culture of discrimination and violence from the wider community. 

Thank you

https://www.change.org/p/amber-rudd-mp-urgent-end-the-detention-of-patricia-simeon

01/05/2017

Our exhibition LOVE IS NOT A CRIME on till 25 June, People's History Museum

Thank you to those who joined us People's History Museum for the launch of our 10 Year Anniversary exhibition LOVE IS NOT A CRIME

The exhibition is on until 25 June, on second floor. 
We've photos, a short animation, banners, and recordings on display, as well as information about the asylum process and why we left our countries of origin. 

More information at the People's History Museum website here:
http://www.phm.org.uk/whatson/love-is-not-a-crime/

Here are some pics of the opening night:





Over the past couple of months, two members have received leave to remain which is fantastic, for others the fight goes on. 

13/03/2017

Highlighting issues around detention of asylum seekers before debate in parliament 14 March 2017

Tuesday 14 March there is a debate in parliament about the issue of detention of asylum seekers.  


We are trying to highlight issues around detention to MPs and any help is appreciated. Please contact your local MP to shine a spotlight on how detention is being used. 

This weekend has raised several issues.

A member of our group was given a due date of the end of March by the Home Office to submit a fresh claim for asylum.

On Friday 10 March she went to report at Dallas Court Salford as requested by the Home Office. 

From there she was whisked away without warning to detention at Pennine House Immigration Removal Centre at Manchester Airport, she was then transferred to Yarls Wood.

Despite having an appointment made for her by the Home Office to submit her fresh claim at the end of March, she was given removal papers to be deported 14 March 2017.


She asked several times for the staff at the IRC Pennine House to submit her papers for her (which can be done by fax when one is detained according to the .gov.uk website) and they did not.

She asked for a part 35 medical exam, due to her previous treatment and the experiences of LGBT people in detentions centres and was told that she could not have one. 

The information about what to do when in Pennine House is confusing. She was given papers which included "statement of additional grounds under section 120" however in a situation such as our member was in, reading the small (and it is small) print in a legal form which is written in legal and confusing language is obstructive. 

The Home Office have guidance on the situation in Uganda for Lesbian women, it is just not safe. The fear of being sent back and, being held in what can only be described as a warehouse, is inhumane. Holding individuals who are threatened with this action in an airport terminal, causes more anxiety. 

Our member has committed no crime, she filed her papers and reported to Dallas court as she was told to do, she followed the rules. The Home Office appear to be trapping individuals, by only allowing people to submit papers on a set date which is AFTER the date on which they would be deported. As our member has tried to submit papers the home office should have taken this notice of submitting a fresh claim more seriously.  

Detention is not the answer.

It is stressful and frightening time for the individual’s friends and supporters. For our member and her partner it was horrifying. 


Please also see this Asylum Information Database report (PDF), from page 77 which raises additional more general issues with detention