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Urgent Help LGBT refugees in bangkok

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The Story
60 months ago

Urgent - Help An LGBT Refugee in Bangkok          

My family beat me for being gay to the point of dislocating my knee.

My father punished me for being a lesbian by cutting my right leg.

A gang of strangers raped me on my way home from church one day in order to show me “how to be with a man.”

My name is Maureen(M)Oseghale (UNHCR refugee) and I need your help. 

My Story - Background

I was 22 when I left Nigeria. Born in Port-Harcourt to a strongly Christian family, I have been beaten, dragged, insulted and humiliated. My family, who is far from accepting of my sexual orientation, believes that being a homosexual is a sin and an abomination.

Today, I am 26 years old and seeking asylum in Bangkok.

Part One: My Aunts

One day, my mom told me my aunts needed help with cooking at the restaurant they owned. I remember showing up to help and being grabbed by my hair, pulled into the store, and then beaten with a log. Agnes, one of my three aunts, dislocated my right knee with it. I had such a hard time taking care of myself that my knees got infected and I could not walk. I could not speak up about how bad my pain was, either. I did not want to complain. If anything, I tried going into hiding so no more pain would be inflicted on me, but I now have a limp when I walk.

After having beaten me, my aunts called me a queer and asked me to change. I remember replying two things: “I love who I am,” and “love is love.”

They ended up ripping my clothes while they took fresh chilli pepper off a big bowl and rubbed it all over my eyes and genitals. It hurt so bad, I cried for hours. No one would came to help.

Part Two: My Dad

Another day, my father came home to find me playing with a female friend. He got upset by that and threw my friend out. Thereafter, he hit me with his belt while calling me names. I was an embarrassment to his name, he said. He then locked me in our basement. When he came back, he had a huge cutter with him and asked me to confess my sins. He demanded I promise to never think of a woman again or he would cut me. I refused to say that. Instead, I tried to run away. He swung his arms at me and cut my right leg. As I was bleeding, I remember him telling me how this was my punishment for being gay. He said people like me would never find love.

I walked myself to the hospital that day and could not walk again for about one month thereafter; the wound was too deep. I still carry those scars with me.

Depression took a few months to set in. I could not take the humiliation, anymore. I felt alone in this world. So I started looking for groups to join, but failed to find any.

Part Three: Facing Sexual Abuse

Strike three was coming home from church. That day, I ran into some men on the street who started calling me names and laughing at me. I chose to stay quiet as I kept walking, but one of the men ran after me, pulled me to the side of the road and said the gang was going to rape me so I would see what it felt like to be with a man. I cried and begged for them to just let me be. They did not listen. They took off my clothes and raped me.

I could not tell anyone. I thought no one would believe me.

Going to the police would not have been any use, really, no matter how much I thought of it. I was actually scared the police would find out about my sexuality and send me to prison, instead.

Being A Refugee - My Current Struggle in Bangkok

I was in danger in Nigeria. No one around me could understand what I was going through and I actually thought I was going crazy. I could not sleep at night. Every day and night, I kept my eyes open, thinking what to do and how to stop it all. The fear of dying together with the thought of going to jail broke me.

Wendy Isaack (an LGBTQ Rights Researcher at Human Rights Watch) has said that “The Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act effectively authorizes abuses against LGBT people” in Nigeria.

In that sense, living in Bangkok has partly been a great experience. Thai people are very kind and warm. However, for the past four years I have been living my life in fear, terror, struggling to survive and make ends meet. I have been homeless, without food or clothing, with no help at all.

In Thailand, Immigration Police can arrest refugees at any time. Thailand is not part of the UN convention. On the contrary, we are treated like criminals here.

I need to renew my visa and have no money for it, which literally makes me an offender. The Thai government, on top of that, does not really support or offer refugees any help. Even 4 years after having escaped, I still feel I am not safe.

On top of it all, I cannot connect with my family. They want nothing to do with me because of my sexuality. In Nigeria, gay or lesbian sexual activity is punished by up to 14 years in prison. Even death!

We refugees are not criminals. We are treated as such, however, when we escape our countries to try to save our lives. It is from experience that I know how people come to rape lesbians. They think it will cure us or make us straight. Having lived through gang rape myself, I later had to live through my girlfriend being killed in a violent attack, as well.

Escaping to save my life has not been a choice. On the contrary, I miss my family; especially my mom. I also miss my country very much.

My Life and Dreams

In spite of above, I am a teacher and love to teach. It is the only thing that gives me joy through these hard times. I do volunteer work now by teaching English, Economics, Social Studies, Music, and Arts to refugee children and other asylum seekers. Without a work permit, however, I cannot have a formal job here in Thailand.


Forced to stop studying due to my circumstances, I volunteer as a teacher in my refugee camp. However, I still hope to be able to become a paid teacher one day. I also still hope my family will one day learn about unconditional love from God and forgive me for being a disappointment to them.

Please help me financially with living expenses while my re-settlement process is underway.

All donations will be used towards living expenses (such as rent, food, transportation, clothing and medication.)

Period of time10 December 2018 – 28 March 2019         

More information or questions: E:mail:

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