Though many western countries have come to embrace equal rights and protections for LGBTQ citizens, other world governments have not been so progressive – but that’s where the Rainbow Railroad comes in.
Similarly to how the Underground Railroad helped African-American slaves escape to freedom, the Rainbow Railroad is a nonprofit that has been helping hundreds of LGBTQ people from around the world escape their oppressive governments.
Over the course of the last 5 years, the organization has facilitated the evacuation, transportation, and resettlement of almost 550 people. In 2018 alone, the group helped to rescue 198 people.
“In countries all over the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI) people live in basic fear for their freedom, their safety, and their lives,” reads the organization’s website. “They often have nowhere to turn because their government and police not only tolerate but encourage this brutality.
“Rainbow Railroad exists to help these people get out of danger to somewhere safe,” it continues. “In the spirit of and with homage to the Underground Railroad, the mission of Rainbow Railroad is to help LGBTQI people as they seek safe haven from state-enabled violence … or persecution.”