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U.S. Funds Program to Support Displaced LGBTQI+ Refugees, Asylees

The U.S. will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars—and up to $1 million—to support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex (LGBTQI+) refugees and asylum seekers in two or more countries. The goal, according to the Biden administration, is to create global coordination, advocacy, and knowledge-sharing on protecting and assisting refugees that identify as LGBTQI+. It is worth noting that the government’s official Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) buries the real purpose of the allocation by classifying the grant as “Humanitarian Research.” The money will be disbursed by the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM). The U.S. is financing the initiative at the request of the United Nations (U.N.) to promote evidence-based decision making on priority protection, enhance tools to improve the agency’s performance and encourage other “humanitarian stakeholders” to follow recommendations.

To receive taxpayer dollars nonprofits and institutions of higher education must submit proposals that respond to several research questions involving LGBTQI+ persons, according to the grant announcement. The first one is, “what are best practices for the ethical, safe, and confidential collection, management, and reporting of data on displaced LGBTQI+ persons?” The second question asks, “what are the experiences and needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Queer (LGBQ) women, trans men, and intersex persons in situations of displacement and in humanitarian contexts, and what are best practices for reaching and assisting them?” That is followed by “what is the intersectionality between the health (including mental health) needs of LGBTQI+ persons and displacement?” Finally, the State Department asks potential grant recipients “what are best practices for assistance to meet these health needs?”

The U.S. was essentially directed to launch the project after a U.N. probe determined that displaced and stateless LGBTQI+ persons remain significantly under-identified and under-documented in humanitarian response efforts. The U.S. is already the U.N.’s largest donor to the tune of $12 billion, but the famously corrupt world body specifically called on Uncle Sam to invest in further research to identify best practices and develop guidelines on working with displaced and stateless LGBTQI+ persons. The U.S. government was also directed to undertake research on the intersection of health and forced displacement of LGBTQI+ persons and safer data collection methods. “The experiences of LGBTQI+ persons in displacement are not homogenous, and, as such, the best practices and policy responses to address their protection concerns and access to assistance and durable solutions will also not be homogenous,” according to the State Department, which stresses the need for the new program by revealing that most research overwhelmingly focuses on “the experiences of cisgender gay and queer men and trans women.”

The U.N. also wants the U.S. and other countries to develop and fund language-appropriate training for government employees and contractors responsible for collecting data on LGBTIQ+ displaced people and develop safe and effective tools, including respectful engagement using the correct diverse terminology dictated by SOGIESC, an umbrella term for those whose gender identity, sexual orientation, or gender expressions differ from the mainstream. The acronym stands for sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics. The leftist world body also wants the U.S. and other countries to innovate region-specific methods to expedite pathways for LGBTIQ+ displaced people in hostile host situations, noting that LGBTIQ+ forcibly displaced people often experience compounded hostility in places of protection due to criminalization of consensual same-sex relations and social stigma in asylum countries. Therefore, the U.N. is ordering “accelerated asylum procedures” for LGBTIQ+ migrants and to avoid inappropriate lines of questioning and the use of stereotypical assumptions in interviewing techniques and credibility assessments.

The U.S. has long accommodated members of this demographic by offering transgender illegal immigrants special services, including their own detention center. A few years ago, Judicial Watch reported on a New Mexico facility that offers transgender migrants hair and makeup classes, a recreation area, gym, television rooms, a lab and pharmacy. There are also meeting areas for trans detainees to consult with free legal services provided by advocacy groups. American taxpayers also furnish hormone therapy, which “is not cheap,” according to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) director.


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