Approximately 40 percent of countries categorize homosexuality as illegal. However, refugee status is still granted largely on the basis of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, which found that a refugee is a person who has a ‘well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion’. On that basis, few countries allow sexual orientation as grounds for refugee status. Owing to the extraordinary odds of gaining successful refugee status and because lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) asylum seekers are often socially isolated in their search for refugee status, there is a heightened need for non-government organization support networks for these individuals. This research explores social media from four LGBT refugee organizations, largely focused on Africa, to ascertain where the differences and similarities reside in communicating with community members, sharing information, building community and encouraging action.
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