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Rainbow Railroad's Path to LGBTQI+ Liberation

Introducing Rainbow Railroad’s 2023-2026 Strategic Plan

Rainbow Railroad's Path to LGBTQI+ Liberation Rainbow Railroad's Path to LGBTQI+ Liberation

Right now, there are more forcibly displaced people in the world than at any other time in recorded history. Queer and trans refugees are uniquely vulnerable due to state-sponsored homophobia and transphobia. Our Strategic Plan tackles this challenge head-on. The launch of this plan for 2023-2026 heralds a new chapter in the fight for LGBTQI+ equality and freedom.

Where We Are Now

Forced displacement affects millions globally, with LGBTQI+ individuals particularly vulnerable to state-enabled oppression. In over 60 countries, same-sex intimacy remains criminalized, leaving countless lives in jeopardy. Since our inception in 2006, we have helped over 13,000 at-risk LGBTQI+ individuals get to safety.

Now, as we approach our 20th anniversary, a new strategic plan emerges, solidifying Rainbow Railroad’s commitment to progress and change.

How Did We Get Here?

The journey to this point has been one of remarkable growth and achievement. From our establishment as a volunteer-run organization in 2006, we expanded our reach, establishing crucial partnerships and increasing our impact tenfold. Landmark collaborations with governments and grassroots organizations alike have propelled Rainbow Railroad forward, affirming our position as a global leader in LGBTQI+ rights.

Our 2020-2022 Strategic Plan encompassed a period of historic growth, made possible by collective support from our partners totalling over $30,000,000.

Where We Need to Be

As Rainbow Railroad looks to the future, our vision remains unwavering: a world where LGBTQI+ individuals are free to live without fear of persecution. To achieve this goal, we have three key priorities: getting more people to safety, queering the system, and strengthening our foundation for long-term success.

How Will We Get There?

The roadmap to liberation is ambitious yet attainable, built on a foundation of partnership, advocacy, and resilience. 

By 2026, we need to BUILD partnerships, pathways & advocacy, REFINE programs, processes & service delivery and STABILIZE & STRENGTHEN internal systems & human resources.

We will accomplish this through 10 ambitious actions:

  1. Build more visa-free pathways for LGBTQI+ refugees 
  2. Revolutionize our case management system
  3. Become a leading global voice for LGBTQI+ justice
  4. Create an International Advocacy Network on LGBTQI+ Forced Displacement
  5. Secure more government pathways for LGBTQI+ refugees 
  6. Fund and build global solidarity with LGBTQI+ grassroots organizations and leaders in the movement
  7. Evaluate and refine our programs
  8. Design and implement new LGBTQI+ refugee-led programs
  9. Create a more sustainable organization
  10.  Build and promote the Rainbow Railroad brand

We Need Your Support: Double the Investment, Triple the Impact

But none of this can be achieved alone. We call upon our supporters, old and new, to join in the fight for equality. We need to double the investment and triple the impact — doubling our revenue from $30 million to $60 million and tripling the number of people we assist from just under 7,000 prior to this strategic plan, to over 20,000 by 2026. 

As we reflect on past achievements and look ahead to the challenges that lie ahead, one thing remains clear: the journey to liberation is far from over. But with the unwavering support of our community, Rainbow Railroad is ready to meet those challenges head-on, forging a path towards a brighter, more inclusive future for all.

Join us on this journey. Together, we can make a difference. To learn more about how you can make a meaningful contribution to our Strategic Plan, please contact

You can read our latest Strategic Plan below, or download the full version here.