My name is Jude, and I’m an asylee from Saudi Arabia. As a queer, non-binary person, growing up under sharia law was terrifying.
I cut my hair short, wore boys' clothes, and dated girls—all in secret. The punishment for a woman or perceived woman dressing as a man, or same-sex relationships, includes lashings and death. Can you imagine your only choice being between severe punishment or living every day as someone you’re not?
That wasn’t a choice I was willing to make, and thanks to Immigration Equality, I didn’t have to. They set me up with an amazing lawyer, and in 2017, I won asylum! I’m now living my best life and able to proudly celebrate my identity on Non-Binary People’s Day.
Winning asylum gave me a sense of hope that I’d lost a very long time ago. It felt like I finally had something to look forward to, something to work towards, a light at the end of the tunnel that I could actually reach.
Because of supporters like you, I am safe. I no longer live in constant fear of oppression and violence because of my gender identity.
Jude Black, Former Client