Railroad receives hundreds of
requests for help every year from countries where LGBT individuals are open
targets of violence.
Because the volume of requests is so high, we focus our efforts on assisting LGBT people who have faced physical violence or face an imminent threat of violence, imprisonment, or death.
We have been successful in helping individuals from the Caribbean, Africa and Middle East where we have local networks to support and validate cases.
At any given time, Rainbow Railroad is working on 30-50 open cases, confirming their details, putting them in touch with local resources and helping them identify safe routes for escape. As the situation worsens in many parts of the world, these numbers continue to grow.
Rainbow Railroad helped Alice and Candice escape to Europe in 2015
Alice and Candice are a lesbian couple in their mid-thirties. They lived in fear within their community after being disowned by their families, receiving death threats and experiencing sexual violence - both contracting HIV after being raped. Candice lost her job and became deeply depressed. Alice, whose gender expression made her stand out, consistently experienced violence and physical threats.
Rainbow Railroad helped Carlitos move to safety in 2016
Carlitos is a 25 year old gay man, who became reliant on sexwork to survive after his family disowned him. After being outed by someone he trusted, Carlitos was violently attacked. The attack hospitalised him and left one of his hands permanently damaged. With the help of Rainbow Railroad, Carlitos was able to move to a safer place and take up a job opportunity with an international HIV organization.
Rainbow Railroad helped Makena escape to Europe in 2015
Makena is a young lesbian whose parents wanted to “fix her” by sending her "counselling", where she experienced corrective rape. She was ostracized and beaten by members of her community, and eventually forced to flee her family home because people in her village thought she was possessed by demons. She lived in hiding for a some time. Makena recently left Africa for a European country that protects the rights and lives of LGBTQ people.