Wednesday, April 24, 2019

From the mailbag: Bi+ Request From Southern Africa

(Due to the sensitivity of the request, name and country of origin have been withheld but BiNet USA volunteers have spoken with her and will be supporting her efforts. We encourage you to as well.)

(PayPal account run by the same friend as an alternative to gofundme)

Hello, I’m a Queer Black bisexual cis woman in her early twenties from Southern Africa. I’m a Political Science and Sociology double major. I’m deeply engaged with feminist and LGBTI issues.

As someone from a country that legally deems people like myself as being criminal, for no reason other than who we choose to love, I’m extremely passionate about my studies and have aims to work in the diplomatic field.

I was recently outed to some of my family by someone who was aware of my sexuality.

On top of the shock and fear I felt at being outed, the most material repercussion that has come from this has been a complete financial cut off and disownment.

The message I’ve received has been one of non-acceptance, horror and rage.
I did not initially want to tell this story, because I was embarrassed and scared and felt guilty.

I didn't want to be this exposed. But, I also care about my education and safety - so I'm doing everything I can to raise tuition and living funds on my own.

The Breakdown - estimated year’s costs of studying

€2000 - tuition

€120- transport

€6000 - housing related costs (accommodation, food etc)

€300 - international student health insurance

€1000 - flight + visa fees

Total = €9420

The goal right now is set at €5000 and will be adjusted as I meet my goals.

I’ve always been scared to out myself to family and members of my larger community for fear of this exact pain of rejection and being at risk of the state sponsored homophobia/persecution that is rampant here.

As risky as putting this out may be , feeling betrayed and rejected by my family has only made me feel more political about my identity and my choices around love, and my own corpus.

When is the tuition due?
As soon as possible really. This all came on very suddenly and the window I have is not big at all. The visa process alone may take up to two months and applying requires that I have the funds necessarily to be granted a study visa.

What’s your home country?
Owing to the existing anti-lgbtq law here and the immediate risk it would pose to myself, I’m uncomfortable typing out the name of the country I’m from and having it searchable. If you direct message me however on this campaign. I’d be more than happy to tell you and answer other questions you may have.

If you’re so unsafe why don’t you just apply for asylum somewhere safe?
Coupled with the general difficulties that queer asylum seekers are faced with, my chances of being granted asylum may be very slim owing to where I am from. Despite the existing anti-queer laws here, media coverage on persecution of lgbtq+ people is virtually non-existent or passive. Persecution is usually carried out by non-state actors (as in my case) and given the lack of any protections for queer people, these acts go unpunished and unrecorded. Without these records it proves very difficult for queer asylum seekers when seeking to prove fear of persecution during an asylum application. Regardless, asylum is an extremely difficult process and not an easy fix for situations like these unfortunately; thankfully I've connected with BiNet USA to learn more about the process as a bi asylum seeker.

What happens if you exceed your goal?
Every single euro/dollar/pound/yen/whatever is going to go towards my tuition and living expenses for the first year. If I'm lucky enough to exceed this goal then the rest will go into costs for the next year as I ultimately seek to raise more and finish my degree.

How are you receiving these funds?
A close friend in a supporting country (Netherlands) has helped set up and is managing this campaign alongside me. The funds will all be sent through to the friend and then to me to pay off the tuition and everything else mentioned above.

I have more questions ...
I'll be happy to answer ANY other questions as well! Just get in contact by messaging the campaign. I'll also update this regularly.

Everything from €1 to €1000 only brings me closer to my goal. No donation is too little! (and certainly not too big lol).

I'm really grateful to anyone who is able to donate & share. Thank you x
People can also donate to this - - PayPal account run by the same friend as an alternative to gofundme.