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Where Love Is Illegal  Documenting & sharing LGBTQI+ stories of survival from around the world. Donate or share your story. Project by @Witness_Change. #whereloveisillegal

"I went to an all boys grammar school, where the words 'gay' and 'faggot' were often thrown around. I felt the need to hide and 'stay in the closest' because being openly gay was not socially acceptable there. I didn't want to give the bullies another reason to harass me, because they already bullied me for the colour of my skin, my demeanour and my feminine voice.” Nix (@mixitnix) is a gay "BBC" (British Born Chinese). He came out to his parents when he was 22: "They responded with: 'it's not normal, it's psychological, God didn't make you this way, I'm sure it's fashionable to come out, and it's illegal in some countries.' I was devastated by their comments until my sister explained that it's not completely their fault because that generation was brought up in a very traditional sense."
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Nix shared his story with the #WhereLoveIsIllegal campaign. You can read his full testimony at the link in our profile. At the link you can also see how to share your own experience of #discrimination and #survival and how you can support. #loveislove. Photo provided by Nix. This is a @witness_change project developed by @Hammond_Robin. For more stories of survival follow @WhereLoveIsIllegal

“We are killed, really, and our lives and souls maimed… And the police will not help you, just like me, they just kicked me out, humiliated me, cut my statement as soon as they heard those treasured words – 'I am a lesbian.'“ Darya is a young woman from Russia. She identifies as bi-gender. In 2011, after coming out, she was followed as she walked home by a group of masked men, they shouted homophobic slurs while beating her with baseball bats. After she was knocked unconscious, she was stabbed. She very nearly died. She went into hiding until one day “I understood that these people had achieved what they wanted - they made me, an LGBT activist, silent. They completely broke me. And then I realized: I wouldn’t allow them to succeed.”
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Read Darya’s story shared with the #WhereLoveIsIllegal campaign, a platform for #LGBT stories of survival, at the link in our profile. At the link you can also see how to share your own experience of #discrimination and #survival and how you can support. Photo by @Hammond_Robin / @noorimages. This is a @witness_change project. For more stories of survival follow @WhereLoveIsIllegal

“When you are 6 years old and you begin to think your best friend has really pretty lips, do not tell your pastor. Do not allow him to bleach the rainbow from your heart.” Shania is a lesbian from Jamaica, despite rejection from family, she is proud of who she is. Will you be Shania’s ally?
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Pledge your support to #LGBTQI+ Jamaicans and become an ally today at www.isupportthelgbt.community (https://iamanally.whereloveisillegal.com/allies/member/242/). The #IAmAnAlly campaign is a global support network for the LGBTQI+ community. It was developed by @witness_change as part of the #whereloveisillegal campaign in partnership with @equalityja

“There wasn’t any safe place for me to live,rules were against my dignity,I didn’t want to do compulsory sex reassignment surgery,the thing that Islamic republic of iran is doing now.” Shermin is a transgender woman from Iran, she currently lives in Turkey as a refugee. In Iran if you are gay or transgender, sex change is compulsory, if you don’t want to undergo this procedure, you must flee.
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Shermin shared her story with the #WhereLoveIsIllegal campaign. You can read her full testimony at the link in our profile. At the link you can also see how to share your own experience of #discrimination and #survival and how you can support. #loveislove. Photo provided by Shermin. This is a @witness_change project developed by @Hammond_Robin. For more stories of survival follow @WhereLoveIsIllegal

“I had to hang out one evening with a childhood friend to loose everything, that is to say, my work, my rent and everything I put in it, my family, my friends, my greatest suffering is to be born gay because I’m the one who embodies the devil in my native Cameroon.” Wandji is a gay man from #Cameroon, he recounts the night he was attacked.
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Read Wandji’s story shared with the #WhereLoveIsIllegal campaign, a platform for #LGBT stories of survival, at the link in our profile. At the link you can also see how to share your own experience of #discrimination and #survival and how you can support. Photo by @Hammond_Robin / @noorimages. This is a @witness_change project. For more stories of survival follow @WhereLoveIsIllegal

“Things had gone downhill for me into high school and my self-hatred had grown like a cancerous lump. I hated how I walked, spoke and even how I interacted with others, to the point of which sometimes I wished I were a robot.” Taffy is a gay man, will you be his ally?
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Pledge your support to #LGBTQI+ Jamaicans and become an ally today at www.isupportthelgbt.community (link in our profile). The #IAmAnAlly campaign is a global support network for the LGBTIQ+ community. It was developed by @witness_change as part of the #whereloveisillegal campaign in partnership with @equalityja

“the first time i tried to come out was very unsuccessful, I was at the 11th grade I conffessed my love to a classmate, got turned down and he told everyone.” Farid is a gay man from Iran. He found safety and support when he changed schools and can be partially open, however living in Iran prevents him from being open without risking his life. “I was once caught not hiding myself by the police. I was kissing my partner but they were kind enough that they just hit us with batons and scared us but didn't turn us in.”
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Farid shared his story with the #WhereLoveIsIllegal campaign. You can read his full testimony at the link in our profile. At the link you can also see how to share your own experience of #discrimination and #survival and how you can support. #loveislove. Photo provided by @_amirhoseintavan_. This is a @witness_change project developed by @Hammond_Robin. For more stories of survival follow @WhereLoveIsIllegal

“I felt something was off and my thoughts were confirmed when I met Adam, we instantly clicked and we used to always hang out and play, and one night we got intimate and he kissed me, it was beautiful and scary at the same time.” Maximus is a gay man from Tunisia. Shortly after they met, Adam died in an accident, but his impact on Maximus has continued. “I kept a smile, a smile that Adam gave me, that confidence I have today was thanks to him… Thank you Adam, I will always be grateful.”
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Read Maximus Bloo's story shared with the #WhereLoveIsIllegal campaign, a platform for #LGBT stories of survival, at the link in our profile. At the link you can also see how to share your own experience of #discrimination and #survival and how you can support. Photo by @Hammond_Robin / @noorimages. This is a @witness_change project. For more stories of survival follow @WhereLoveIsIllegal

"When my mother found out about my relationship with a woman, she was suffering from cancer and the world fell on me. I felt responsible for her unhappiness, I felt her biggest disappointment. Right now she began using an offensive language to contact me, refusing to accept me and my relationship. Every day was a struggle, a continuous fight, sometimes accompanied by slaps and very heated debates.” Lorenza is a lesbian from Italy. “This year, after two years living with my girlfriend, my mother came for the first time in the house that I share with the love of my life. She still refuses to meet Ilenia, but you know, you need to make do with what you have. Things can change, just be patient.”
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Lorenza shared her story with the #WhereLoveIsIllegal campaign. You can read her full testimony at the link in our profile. At the link you can also see how to share your own experience of #discrimination and #survival and how you can support. #loveislove. Photo provided by @serenacevenini. This is a @witness_change project developed by @Hammond_Robin. For more stories of survival follow @WhereLoveIsIllegal

Today on #TransDayofVisibility we continue to celebrate the Be-You-Tiful trans men and woman who have shared their stories.
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“Before my great-grand mother passed away, in her last few days she had Alzheimer, she told me to be Be-You-Tiful- be you because the real you is beautiful and you’re not here for the approval for anyone so give yourself a break and Be-You-Tiful. These words stuck with me and formed part of me in a literal sense as I had it tattooed on my chest as a reminder to myself every day when I wake up and I am preparing myself for the day ahead.” Noelle is a transgender woman from Jamaica. She had struggled with her gender identity for years, worried about what friends and family would think, but embracing her trans identity has made her stronger. “This is the first time I’m speaking so candidly to such a large audience about my gender identity but at this point I really don’t care. I am Jamaican and trans is beautiful and I am beautiful.”
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Read Noelle’s story shared with the #WhereLoveIsIllegal campaign, a platform for #LGBT stories of survival, at the link in our profile. At the link you can also see how to share your own experience of #discrimination and #survival and how you can support. Photo by @Hammond_Robin / @noorimages. This is a @witness_change project. For more stories of survival follow @WhereLoveIsIllegal

“In spite of all this we are here, and we have a wonderful family and we are blessed to be surrounded by family and friends who love us and accept us as we are”. Mitch, a transgender man from Malaysia, with his partner of 17 years Lalita, and their adopted children. In Malaysia their union is not recognized, preventing both Mitch and Lalita from being legal guardians of their children.
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Read Mitch’s story shared with the #WhereLoveIsIllegal campaign, a platform for #LGBT stories of survival, at the link in our profile. At the link you can also see how to share your own experience of #discrimination and #survival and how you can support. Photo by @Hammond_Robin / @noorimages. This is a @witness_change project. For more stories of survival follow @WhereLoveIsIllegal

“I kept everything inside, I hated myself I hated how I look I wanted to die, I just thought that death was my only ticket out of this situation, so I started inflicting pain to my body, I started cutting my wrist, Burning my legs, overdosing, chopped off my hair; I just wanted to be non-existent last time I tracked my skin (cut) I ended up at the hospital where I was in a coma for nearly 3 months When I woke up I went to rehab and therapy to begin my road to recovery.” Ness is a Lesbian from Jamaica. She was outed by friends and an ex and rejected by her family. Her road to recovery has been long, but she now has a girlfriend and is a proud member of the LGBT community. Will you be Ness’ ally?
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Pledge your support to #LGBTQI+ Jamaicans and become an ally today at www.isupportthelgbt.community (link in our profile). The #IAmAnAlly campaign is a global support network for the LGBTQI+ community. It was developed by @witness_change as part of the #whereloveisillegal campaign in partnership with @equalityja

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