New York City’s Anti-Violence Project’s client, who we will call “Nadia”, has been granted asylum on the basis of her sexual orientation.
Content note: portions of the following story might be triggering to survivors.
Nadia realized she was attracted to women at camp when she was around 14 but knew that she had to keep these feelings hidden. Nadia was born in Russia, a country which criminalizes LGBTQ identities through a “no LGBT propaganda” law. A few years after realizing her sexual orientation, in a moment of bravery, she argued with a teacher in front of her class that same-sex relationships were just as loving as any other relationship. This caused her to nearly be kicked out of school and almost kept her from continuing on to University.
It was at a University in St Petersburg where she met her first girlfriend. Still Nadia found the same prejudice and persecution she suffered in high school. One day, Nadia and her girlfriend were walking down a side street to a donut shop. They thought they were out of sight, but when Nadia kissed her girlfriend on the cheek, they were attacked by two older women. The attack left Nadia’s girlfriend severely injured with a broken leg.
Nadia came to the US on a student Visa and heard about the New Sanctuary Coalition’s free Tuesday night legal clinic. It was there that she met AVP’s staff attorney, Geoff Kagan-Trenchard, who volunteers with the New Sanctuary Coalition, and became a client in both AVP’s legal and counseling departments. After the application and interview process, she was granted asylum. While preparing for her case, she went to her first LGBT Pride Parade. She said it was the best day of her life.
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