Come Out Come In

Closed Projects and CampaignsRFSLPhoto: Tine Alavi

Now Sweden and Europe are closing their borders. It becomes harder for people who are subject to harassments, threats and violence because of who they love or who they are to come here. Those who manage to get to Sweden are at risk of being persecuted at the accommodations provided for them by the Migration Agency. Fewer people will be offered shelter with the new rules that come into effect this summer, and the ones that are offered protection are offered a life in insecurity, where the right to stay in Sweden will be re-tried every or every other year.

Our demands

  • Arrange more secure and legal ways into the EU
  • Give LGBTQ refugees permanent residence 
  • Abolish the Migration Agency’s unreasonable demands of making people prove their sexual orientation or gender identity
  • Stop deporting LGBTQ refugees to so called secure countries 
  • Exclude LGBTQ refugees from the Dublin regulation if they risk being sent to countries that don’t recognize sexual orientation or gender identity as grounds for asylum 
  • Sweden should follow the children’s convention and forbid deportation of children
  • Tare up the inhumane law with temporary residence permits and reduced possibilites for families to reunite

loggor samlat


I would rather die than go back

When I came out I was already in Sweden. But that doesn’t mean that I’ve come out to my parents. I have waited for a long time to feel secure, and I feel secure in Sweden. That’s why it hasn’t been hard to come out here.

I came to Sweden on a student visa and started studying here. When I came here I felt depressed and lonely and couldn’t study. I sought asylum because I had no other choice if I wanted to stay in Sweden.

Sweden is the only place where I can survive as the human being I am. I’d rather die than go back because there’s only one choice for me: to stay in Sweden or nothing at all! Now I need to come in.

Noora, Middle East

Daniel Kamau

Who I am

When I came out I was punished by my parents. I was 16 years old and had to experience that I couldn’t come out. Instead I tried to make my family satisfied by being in a relationship with a woman, and today we have two children together. I fled from Kenya because I couldn’t live as an LGBTQ individual there. I could be punished and killed.

When i came to Sweden I met two guys on the train. We talked and they made me feel safe so I said that I was gay. They told me about RFSL, which I contacted. Now I have more self confidence, but I still can’t come out to my wife. I don’t know how she’ll react and I don’t want to lose the right to see my children.

It’s my right to be treated equally. I need to be free to be gay, to be who I am. Now I need to come in.

Daniel Kamau, Kenya

Rachad HabibI have run from death

When I came out as a trans person in Sweden I felt that I got a lot of psychological and spiritual support, and I had the space to find myself. It has given me more self confidence. In Tripoli there’s no LGBTQ community. It’s impossible to live openly as an LGBTQ individual and I would’ve been killed immediately if it became known.

When I came to Sweden I had had a very dangerous journey here from Turkey to Kos in Greece. I was on a small boat for 45 people, but we were 85, because the person who owned the boat wanted to make money. The boat sank and we were in the water for two hours before we were picked up by the Greek police. After that I went through many countries to get to Sweden, but I had many problems on the way. I was harassed both by the police and others for being trans.

I have run from death to survive and to live with respect and dignity as a trans person. Now I need to come in.

Rachad Habib, Tripoli


A blossoming flower

When I came to Sweden I had already come out. My family had speculated but weren’t 100 percent sure. In Uganda I was once discovered with my partner and I was arrested and abused.

I came to Sweden with a visa from a smuggler. Here my life is no longer in danger and I feel secure and confident. When I first came here I lived in an asylum accommodation in Uppsala and sometimes went to RFSL in Stockholm. It was with RFSL that I first felt I could come out. At the asylum accommodation it was tough and the Migration Agency advised me not to be open since they couldn’t offer me sheltered living. Now that I’ve come out I feel like a blossoming flower!

In Uganda I am considered a disgrace and am shunned by both my family and society, because there’s no law that protects LGBTQ individuals – the contrary! In Sweden there are laws that protect my life. Now I need to come in.

Moshen Ahmed Bukenya, Uganda

Basamba Drammeh

Sweden was safer

When I came out I had fallen in love with my best friend. I had started an LGBTQ organisation, something that’s illegal in Gambia, and both me and my organisation were threatened by the authorities so that I couldn’t return home.

When i came to Sweden I sought asylum and lived at an asylum accommodation. It was hard for me to live there and I worried about what would happen if I stayed there longer. I decided to leave the accommodation and get help to find my own place.

I chose to come to Sweden because I’d read that Sweden is safe for LGBTQ individuals. During my asylum process I’ve had regrets because it’s hard to survive as an asylum seeker, especially at the Migration Agency’s asylum accommodations, but I have nowhere else to go. Now I need to come in.

Basamba Drammeh, Gambia

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