Dennis

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573 kmfrom home
#iamamigrant
"In my country, people are killed every day because of their sexual orientation. I now feel safe in Costa Rica."
Dennis
Occupation: 
Activist
Current Country: 
Costa Rica
Country of Origin: 
Honduras

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'Unfortunately in Honduras, where I come from, people are killed every day and many of these murders are part of a wave of persecution and hate crimes against sexual diversity. I started my activism when I was 13 after experiencing discrimination and violence. I started working on a human rights program after witnessing the murder of one of my colleagues. As I could testify against those involved in this crime, my life was in danger and I received several threats.

For these reasons, I migrated to San José, Costa Rica in 2012 and applied for asylum based on sexual orientation. After five months,Costa Rica made me the first case of granting refugee status based on sexual orientation. My case has been emblematic and today many other sexual diversity leaders persecuted in Central America can be protected in this country.

I come from a family of many values. I am the youngest son of my parents and I was always pampered by my sisters. Being gay had an impact on the love that some members of my family gave me, but somehow they all love me. It was therefore difficult to accept that I had to leave Honduras and look for another country to live in to escape the death threats. I left home and my mother behind. Knowing that she is worried is the hardest things I have to deal with.

Once in Costa Rica, I created a newsletter and realized that I could do a lot though online media. In 2013, I met another group of refugees and founded Comunidad Casabierta. We are a team, a community, a family, and a space for human rights activists and human rights defenders living in persecution. We want to be a safe and creative space so that persecution do not impact too much our lives. Our activism is a 'virtual' activism.

I was lucky to be able to exchange experiences with other activists worldwide. I visited the Netherlands in 2014 to a program on LGBT rights; I went to Mexico to participate in a training with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as well as in a LGBTI Political Leadership meeting held in the Dominican Republic.

I would like humanity to be truly democratic for LGBTI population. LGBT people should have access to all human rights in our countries. My dream is to return to my country and live in peace. I wish my country had openly gay, lesbian or trans public officials. But most importantly, I would like to offer a shelter to all persecuted LGBT leaders, who are rejected by their families."

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s):

 

https://together.un.org            http://usaim.org/            https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org