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    Making the wait a little bit easier

    Day 303

    A Day in the Sun

    As migrants and asylum seekers arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border, looking for a better life, many of them are assigned a number. And that number holds the key to your destiny…the sooner it’s called, the sooner your case gets heard by immigration officials. But the wait can be heart-breakingly long, and spirits can run very low.

    We met with one group of LGBT migrants that we’ve been working with over the past few days, we talked about what might make them feel a little happier, a little more joyful while they wait. They came up with an idea…what about a trip to the beach?

    The beach idea was an instant hit! Everybody voted for it.

    So we got all the beach essentials — beach blankets, sunscreen, playing cards, uno, bubbles, soccer balls and beach balls. After packing into cars, we headed to Playas de Tijuana, where people pretty instantly started running into the water or playing soccer . We grabbed snacks, sodas and pizzas so that returning soccer players and swimmers could chow down after exhausting themselves.

    The beach trip was a particularly special excursion for the house. Sire, the Director of Casa Arcoiris, told us that many of the house members had been longing to go to the beach and spend more time outside of the house. But they felt unsafe to do so. Being out in the public alone in Tijuana can be risky for members of the LGBT community, who are often subject to harassment or worse – particularly if they’re transgender or gender non-conforming.

    This outing finally allowed many of the house mates who grew up by the beach the opportunity to spend some time in the sun – and forget the stresses of waiting for a while.

    A bit thanks to ORAM for making this change possible!


    Meet Steve! Steve is the Executive Director for ORAM, the Organization for Refuge, Asylum and Migration, and member of the Alight family of organizations. Before joining ORAM, Steve served as the Senior Director of Global Initiatives at Out & Equal, the biggest LGBT workplace inclusion non-profit. Steve also launched a non-profit, Alturi, which increases engagement by American donors to organizations improving the lives of LGBT people globally.



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    Changemakers 365

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