Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, our LGBTQ community experiences freedom, acceptance, and compassion unlike anywhere else in the country or, for that matter, the world. It’s the reason why so many of our brothers and sisters who came before us flocked here from around the United States in the 60s and 70s and why so many today from beyond our borders hold out hope of calling San Francisco home. The LGBT Asylum Project is the only organization of its kind in the Bay Area, dedicated solely to offering pro-bono legal representation to vulnerable LGBTQ immigrants fleeing persecution abroad and seeking protection here in the United States. With over 80 countries currently criminalizing homosexuality and/or homosexual conduct, 10 of these implementing the death penalty for violations, the importance of this nonprofit’s work cannot be underscored enough. Through the representation provided by the LGBT Asylum Project, immigrants experience a 90% success rate in the San Francisco Bay Area, compared to 13% without, and receive the kind of guidance that makes the complicated process of achieving asylum that much easier. It is in the face of the uncertainty of an incoming administration, a changing political climate, and anti-immigrant fervor that I am proud to have the LGBT Asylum Project as a beneficiary of this year’s Pride Party. The work they do only strengthens our community and reaffirms the values which make San Francisco the kind of sanctuary city it is.
- Juanita MORE!
When I selected AIDS Housing Alliance, now part of the Q Foundation, back in 2014 as the beneficiary of my Pride Party, the San Francisco Bay Area was in the throes of the worst affordable housing crisis since the late 90s. Today, in countless ways, we are still in the midst of this crisis and continue to experience firsthand the adverse and disproportionate effects it has on our LGBTQ and HIV+ communities, with 30% of the city’s homeless identifying as LGBTQ, a majority of them youth, and our most vulnerable seniors fighting to keep their homes. This is why the work of Brian Basinger and the Q Foundation in preventing homelessness and providing rehousing services for these vulnerable communities is as vital as ever. I am thrilled to once again contribute to their stated mission of protecting the housing people already have, providing resources to secure new housing, and promoting public policy to expand housing opportunity and remove housing barriers.
- Juanita MORE!