2022 was a significant year for Rainbow Railroad.
We received almost 10,000 requests for help – an overwhelming and record number – and supported more individuals than any year in our organization’s history. When we look back at 2022, it’s clear that there is so much for us to learn, and share with our community.
In drafting the 2022 Annual Report, “Understanding the State of Global LGBTQI+ Persecution”, our team had two main goals.
First, we wanted to ensure a high level of rigor and integrity in our data analysis, based on three years of data and counting, and last year’s almost 10,000 individual requests for help from LGBTQI+ people at risk. As a team, we undertake quantitative and qualitative analysis to map trends and capture emerging insights.
This report, which documents witness testimony of LGBTQI+ persecution from around the world, represents a relationship of deep trust between individuals in imminent danger, and Rainbow Railroad.
We know that the data in this report represents a difficult year in queer history. It is a solemn moment where we declare, as we release this report on June 20th – World Refugee Day: LGBTQI+ people are here. We exist. And we will not be erased.
Second, we wanted to meaningfully integrate the perspectives of Rainbow Railroad case individuals into our research and analysis. Individuals trust us with highly sensitive information, which is why any story or names shared in the report are only shared with their permission. Some wished to share their stories even though they are not in a safe enough environment to disclose their names publicly. In this report, we share stories of persecution and trauma, but also ask case individuals about their views of regional political dynamics in the Middle East, what it’s like to be a human rights defender, what safety means to them, and so much more. We feature perspectives from folks who are still waiting to travel, those who have just resettled and those who have built their lives in a destination country.
In the coming weeks, we will continue to share key insights from this report, ensuring that the quantity and depth of data we have gathered is not lost as we move forward with our work. Thank you for being a part of it, and for supporting our mission.
Today, June 20th, is World Refugee Day, and this month is Pride Month – but our work helping at-risk LGBTQI+ people is year-round.
We could not be more proud to share this report and to use these findings to advocate for justice and protection for LGBTQI+ people at risk.
You can also download the full report here.