A refuge for young LGBT people in Rome
“My mother’s boyfriend would beat me, saying that people like me were a waste of humanity. She told me that I disgusted her, and kicked me out of home. My dream is to have a beard and not to see the breast ever more.”
That is how Flavio described his harrowing family experience as a transexual. He was a guest in Refuge LGBT set up by the both the Italian Red Cross and the Gay Centre in Rome, the first house of hospitality for young LGBT survivors of violence who suffer from discrimination and social exclusion in Italy.
The Refuge LGBT is a unique shelter that provides temporary accommodation for gays and transexuals who have been subjected to violence or discrimination as a result of their sexual orientation and need a safe place to rebuild their lives. The project draws on the experience of the French association Le Refuge, which offers temporary shelter and support to young victims of homophobia and transphobia in cities across that country.
Alexia is a lesbian guest of the house: “I found a family here. I changed as person, and feel more self-confident and happier. I have had the chance to meet new great friends, and I found an amazing staff who is supporting me, never letting me fall down and helping me to make true my dream to open a beauty shop,” she explained.
In Refuge LGBT, it is important to help the guests in their daily life, in recovery, and in their relationships with their families. Qualified Italian Red Cross staff members provide residents with wide range of professional and counselling services: they offer psychological support to overcome problems and enjoy a peaceful family and social reintegration; legal assistance; educational guidance to enhance and support their integration into school; career advice for guests find jobs or better integrate into professional settings; and mediation with social and cultural services as well as with families.
The house can host up to eight people between the ages of 18 and 26. Its main goal is to help each of them in different processes, facilitate their reintegration, and accompany them with multi-disciplinary support along the way.
Refugee LGBT is only part of the Italian Red Cross efforts to defeat discriminations based on gender and sexual orientation, to promote human rights and to raise awareness among citizens and local institutions. For more information, kindly check: https://cri.it/cosa-facciamo/sociale/vittime-violenza-discriminazione/ and https://cri.it/refuge-lgbt/
Ongoing since 2016
Italian Red Cross and Gay Centre