Imagine if you are an American citizen and you couldn't spend the holidays with your LGBTQI partner because your partner or spouse is a citizen of another country (even top gay bloggers have faced this hardship).
Imagine if you sought asylum as an oppressed LGBTQI person within English-speaking countries like America, the United Kingdom, or Canada, and were turned away despite overwhelming evidence that you would be killed or abused in your home country.
Imagine if you had to undergo grueling, shameful arousal tests to prove your same-sex attractions at a border gate.
Imagine if the rules that allow married heterosexuals to enjoy immigration rights were not afforded you.
Imagine that you were forbidden to immigrate to an English-speaking country because you were HIV-positive (thankfully, in January, President Obama's administration ended the USA's participation in this kind of transnational discrimination).
Imagine that to get a passport you had to do anything–anything at all–different as a transgendered person than what anyone else does, including the showing of any more or less forms of identification or records (and The Blend's very own Autumn Sandeen has written about this and I dare not paraphrase her).
Imagine if you were in danger of being deported back to a gay-hating, hostile country where you would be raped, killed, or abused and then a European country both denies you asylum and puts you in a jail for asking for it, and then only for another European country to grant the asylum after you have endured imprisonment (and this case is but one example of such hardships).
This holiday diary is dedicated to all the LGBTQI asylum seekers, immigrants, immigration-seekers, passport-seekers, trans-national couples, immigrants, and travelers who face these hardships and hoops.
There are great resources like Immigration Equality.
I wasn't born in this beautiful country.
I know what it's like.
There are folks who care.