“Phoning for Godot”: Ian’s story
Ian escaped Uganda after a series of heartbreaking and terrifying events. First, his gay father was brutally murdered in their home in Uganda by persons unknown; the police took no interest in finding the killers of “a gay” so the murderers were never apprehended; Ian was fired from his job when his employers discovered he also is gay; he and his boyfriend Jamal received anonymous death threats; and then Ian’s family home was burned down with Jamal inside.
Gay activists in Uganda advised Ian to leave the country, before the death threats came true for him, too. Ian was given the name, phone number, and address of a man “who will help you if you need it” in Worcester, MA. He did not know another soul in America so when he landed in New York, Ian spent his last dollars taking a bus to Worcester. He waited for hours in the freezing January cold and dark, calling and calling, to no avail; the man’s phone number was not in service. Ian did not know what to do. It was so cold. He had no money left for food or for a place to sleep.
At 3:00 a.m., a kind gentleman happened by the bus station; Ian heard from his voice he was Ugandan and asked him for help. The kind Ugandan gentleman let Ian sleep on his sofa, and next day drove him to the mystery man’s address. No one there had ever heard of the man! Luckily, the kind gentleman knew of the Task Force and connected Ian to us. Ian now has his own room, is learning his way around Worcester, making new friends, volunteering for the Task Force, and seeking a lawyer to file his asylum case. Ian spoke at Harvard University’s LGBTQ Conference a few weeks ago, moving attendees to tears. He told them, “I am so grateful to have found safety.” With his sweet smile and gentle demeanor, we love having Ian with us. We, too, are profoundly grateful that he made it to safety after all he’s been through.
Please make a special “New beginnings” gift today to help Ian and asylum seekers like him, to find freedom without fear.
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