Borderland Pride is proud to announce that in less than one week, its online fundraising campaign raised a total of $4,238 to support Rainbow Railroad’s efforts to bring LGBTQI+ refugees to safety.
Rainbow Railroad is a not-for-profit organization that helps LGTBQI+ people facing persecution based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics and to bring those individuals to safety.
Recently, Rainbow Railroad has expressed serious concerns about the safety of LGBTQI+ people in Afghanistan, following the swift takeover of the Taliban. Public attitudes in Afghanistan towards LGBTQI+ people were already deeply troubling, leading members of the LGBTQ+ community to keep their gender identity and sexual orientation a secret in fear of harassment, intimidation, persecution, and even death.
In a recent news release, Rainbow Railroad stated: “Rainbow Railroad is concerned that the return to power of the Taliban will lead to instances of extreme violence directed at members of the LGBTQI+ community in Afghanistan. And although it remains to be seen how the Taliban will respond to international pressure to uphold human rights, early signs are not encouraging. Just last month, a Taliban judge threatened that gay men will be crushed to death by toppling walls onto them should the group regain control of Afghanistan.”
On August 13, the Government of Canada announced that Canada will resettle 20,000 vulnerable Afghans threatened by the Taliban and forced to flee Afghanistan. Canada also committed to introducing a special program to focus on vulnerable groups, including LGBTQI+ individuals.
Borderland Pride’s fundraising campaign was conducted online, via social media and email marketing. Special thanks to local lawyer Peter Howie and Rainbow Collective of Thunder Bay for their generous contributions in support of our fundraising goal.
Borderland Pride has made contact with Rainbow Railroad and looks forward to holding an informational and educational event in the near future on their important work and the dangers facing LGBTQI+ people abroad in jurisdictions lacking appropriate legal or human rights protections.
Members of the community that would like to make financial contributions to Rainbow Railroad may do so online at https://donate.rainbowrailroad.org/borderlandpride. Rainbow Railroad is a registered charity in both Canada and the United States.
Borderland Pride is the LGBTQ2 Pride organization serving the Rainy River District in Northwestern Ontario, Koochiching County in Northern Minnesota, and the southeast of Treaty #3 territory. We are based in Fort Frances, Ontario and International Falls, Minnesota.