First shelter opens for LGBT refugees in Germany

Yesterday, the first shelter for LGBT refugees opened in Germany.

Based in Nuremberg, southern Germany, the shelter specifically for LGBT refugees can house eight individuals amid fears that overcrowded accommodation is creating additional risks for refugees who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans.

Michael Glas, who runs the Fliederlich housing association which started the initiative, told Agence France-Presse, ‘No one has moved in yet but it’s a question of a day or two, the accommodation is ready.’

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The association was prompted to create the shelter in a ‘small two-storey house’ after at least 20 refugees contacted them due to feeling threatened in their current accommodation.

‘Four people from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Ethiopia have made requests,’ he said. ‘Prejudices don’t disappear when one crosses the borders.’

LGBT organisation Schwulenberatung is due to open its own 120-bed shelter in Berlin later this month.

‘We have heard a lot of stories about discrimination and crimes against LGBT people in the last two years,’ said Stephan Jakel from Schwulenberatung. ‘They were frightened and scared after being beaten or spat on, and one survived a murder attempt. We heard a lot of horrible stories.’

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Germany took in 1.1 million asylum seekers in 2015, but there is no available date on the number of LGBT refugees who have been threatened or experienced violence while in shelters.

However, the Lesbian and Gay Federation of Germany has recorded 95 cases of violence, sexual attacks and threats between 1 August and 31 December 2015.

About Kim X

Vada Magazine staff writer and daydreamer.