A new initiative has been launched to help queer migrants navigate systems of government across Europe without fear of discrimination, in a political climate of increasing anti-migrant and anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment.

UK-based non-profit organization The Love Tank launched the first phase of its Queers Beyond Borders project on Friday (September 1) together with MPact Global.

The initiative provides online resources where migrants can find information and support on immigration processes, health systems and finding LGBTQ+ friendly communities across Europe.

So far, the project focuses on six cities – Berlin, Brussels, Lisbon, London, Madrid and Paris – in its list of information, but plans to include other notable regions in the next phase.

The director of the Love Tank, Dr. Will Nutland told PinkNews that the organization will focus on the diverse experiences of LGBTQ+ migrants and what they bring with them to the countries they reside in.

“Queers Beyond Borders didn’t want to assume a deficit model from the start,” Nutland continued. “We didn’t want to focus on the fact that if you’re a queer migrant, you’re more likely to experience X, Y and Z.”

“Instead, we want to highlight that migrants and queer migrants bring assets and resources and cultures and experiences, food and music and all these other beautiful things to our cities that make our queer culture more vibrant and brilliant.” and enriched.

“So we really don’t apologize for that, not least because most of us have people who are incredibly close to our hearts and enrich our lives who weren’t born in the UK.”

A demonstrator holds a placard reading “No deportations to Rwanda” during a refugee demonstration. (Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

“As we see an increase in immigrant and anti-LGBT movements, Queers Beyond Borders couldn’t be more timely and needed,” said Alex Garner, director of community engagement at MPact Global, in a statement.

“This initiative promotes community and recognizes the humanity and rich contributions of queer migrant communities across Europe.”

While there is currently a wealth of information available on the initiative’s website — including information on mental health support, social groups, legal and housing advice, and “essentials” checklists for each city — say members of the initiative, which are predominantly is about queer migrants, more to come.

Queers Beyond Borders has announced plans to introduce cities from Eastern Europe in the next stages, including places like Warsaw, which Nutland says have become a priority due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“From our partner organizations that we work with in Poland, we are very aware that many queer people are migrating from Russia and Ukraine and many services there are overloaded,” Nutland explained.

The hope for Nutland and others is that the project will evolve into an “iterative” community where queer migrants can not only find the information they need, but also see the positive impact of migration.

Pro-LGBTQ+ protesters support migrants and refugees. (Getty)

Anti-immigration rhetoric and legislation is currently rife in the UK.

The Conservative government passed its sweeping illegal migration law in July after rejecting an amendment to protect LGBTQ+ asylum-seekers. This means that anyone who enters the UK ‘illegally’ – for example in a small boat or in the back of a lorry – will be arrested and deported.

The legislation has been condemned as “racist” and “cruel” by charities, asylum advocacy groups and campaigners and will no doubt increase the suffering of vulnerable people seeking safety in Britain.

“We need to think about where the greatest need is”

Nutland pointed out that a number of migrants have asked the group to extend their support beyond Europe, asking for information about cities in Canada or North America.

“We’ve talked about whether it will stay in Europe, but that’s definitely a phase 3 or phase 4 plan,” Nutland continued.

“For phase two we have a shortlist. With MPact, we have a development strategy that can lead to us receiving or trying to receive funding from individual cities.

“So if, for example, a certain city health department sees this and says, ‘It would be great to have that for Amsterdam,’ then we would prioritize that.”

Beyond the priority cities named by Nutland, he also mentioned that others, including Dublin, Amsterdam and Zurich, are “obvious omissions” that could be considered in the near future.

“We also need to think about where the greatest need is right now and where Queers Beyond Borders can not only provide information for queer migrants moving to places like Warsaw, but how the network can help, support and offer solidarity to people can.” both queer migrants and working with queer migrants.”

Source : www.thepinknews.com

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