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Image credit: Equality California

4 things to know about LGBTQ immigrants this #MayDay

May 1, 2018

What began on May 1st, 1886 as a widespread protest to secure an 8-hour work day has become a yearly tradition and international holiday with the goal of voicing the demands of workers.

Philosopher Rosa Luxemburg puts it best: "The first of May demanded the introduction of the eight-hour day. But even after this goal was reached, May Day was not given up. As long as the struggle of the workers against the bourgeoisie and the ruling class continues, as long as all demands are not met, May Day will be the yearly expression of these demands. And, when better days dawn, when the working class of the world has won its deliverance then too humanity will probably celebrate May Day in honor of the bitter struggles and the many sufferings of the past.”

May Day is not just important to workers, but to everyone. All struggles are connected, and working together is necessary to create a better world. Every person is worthy of dignity of respect. In this way, our collective liberation is a stake on a day like May Day. This May Day, GLAAD would like you to consider the often underrepresented members of our collective struggle, LGBTQ immigrants.

1. Trans immigrant women face disproportionate levels of policing and detention. Although many would qualify for asylum and therefore permanent status, discrimination and detention particularly impact trans immigrant women, especially those of color. Trans immigrant rights are LGBTQ rights.

2. Bi+ immigrants have a difficult time achieving asylum when fleeing unsafe sending countries. This is largely due to many state officials not believing their orientations as bi+ are real or valid. Bi+ immigrant rights are LGBTQ rights.

3. Black LGBTQ immigrants face disproportionate levels of policing and detention. Often left out of the stories media tells about immigrant struggle, Black immigrants may be from African Countries, from the English, French and Spanish Speaking Caribbean, or Afro-Latinx people from the Mexico, Central America and South America. Black immigrant rights are LGBTQ rights.

4. Many LGBTQ immigrants are impacted by DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and TPS (Temporary Protected Status). DACA is a program for childhood arrivals; TPS is a temporary status that protects thirteen countries, many of which do not have protections for their LGBTQ citizens. However, there are many LGBTQ immigrants that do not qualify for DACA or TPS, and may be left in dire situations in the U.S. or abroad. Immigrant rights are LGBTQ rights.

Want to learn more? Click here to read a timeline of anti-immigrant actions from the Trump administration, and click here to read a story of reslience from an undocumented, queer cancer patient who is fighting for justice.

Micah Prussack is a Campaigns Intern at GLAAD and a graduating senior at NYU Gallatin studying social anthropology. She is passionate about using media and culture to better the lives of marginalized individuals.

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