Junior Mayema is a wonderful voice for the GLBT community. Unfortunately, where Junior is currently residing in Africa it is not safe. Numerous attempts have been made on Junior's life as well as many assaults. There is no safe place there. Allowing Junior to seek refuge in the USA is the safest option.
Below is an excerpt of Junior's story:
"Life in South Africa as a gay black foreigner is a horrendous nightmare. Well, many days I wish it were just a nightmare. But it is the reality for me. This reality is one full of intolerance, discrimination, and prejudice. I am a refugee and a gay activist – this is my story.
I fled my home after my mother tried to inject me with a syringe full of gasoline when she discovered that I was gay. After leaving my mother’s house, I began living with my father and I attended Bandundu University. I became friends with other gay students at the university and began to date and experiment. During this time, my father saw a picture taken of me kissing another man. After confronting me, my father and mother forced me into a “healing process” run by a pastor. I was made to fast for days in order to expel the “devil spirit” out of my body.
When I did not change my behavior, my father spread the news of my homosexuality to the community. Local boys began to beat me. I was particularly weary of a notorious group that hunted homosexuals. My friends and family shunned and banished me. My life was in danger and I had nowhere to go, so I came to South Africa.
I came full of hope that things would get better; that I would be able to live my life without fear of being persecuted for who I am. And in some ways I do feel safer here than I did in Congo. But after being here for a year, I can honestly say that this hope did not come true.
Life is tough here. Firstly, there is a lot of homophobia in the Congolese community in South Africa. When I first arrived, I lived with my cousin. When he found out from my family in Congo that I was gay, he kicked me out on the street. My mother ensured that no other family member in South Africa took me in after that. Since then I have moved around a lot, living with different Congolese people, but the story is always the same: once they detect that I am gay, they kick me out."
For more information, please read Junior's complete story at http://gayusathemovie.com/2011/08/the-safehaven-is-not-safe-the-story-of-africas-gays/
Katharine Royal started this petition with a single signature, and now has 184 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.