29 LGBT Afghans have been evacuated to the UK

In this image provided by the U.S. Marine Corps, evacuees wait to board a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021. (Staff Sgt. Victor Mancilla/U.S. Marine Corps via AP)

Queer people in Afghanistan are amongst the most vulnerable with horror stories of abuse and murder filtering out of the country since the Taliban takeover.  


For some, however, the nightmare is over as the UK Government, British charity Stonewall, and the Canadian organisation Rainbow Railroad have managed to evacuate 29 gay Afghans, which they say are hopefully “the first of many.” The refugees have now landed in the UK and their identities kept secret. 


Kimahli Powell,  the Executive Director of Rainbow Railroad said: “Since the fall of Kabul, Rainbow Railroad has been leading efforts to find safety for LGBTQI+ Afghans facing grave danger.” 

One man, speaking to the BBC  said that he feels “like a human being for the first time” now he has arrived in the UK. He continued: “I am trying to figure out where to start my new life, but man, I feel safe and free!”


Obviously 29 is a tiny number compared to those that are still there and in real and present danger but it is a step in the right direction.