LGBTQ asylum seekers, DACA recipients and undocumented individuals of Los Angeles will be treated to a first-of-its-kind holiday celebration this December 22nd at Heart Weho, located in the center of West Hollywood.
This festive event is co-hosted by Los Angeles Blade, LGBTQ Latino advocacy group LOUD, and is co-sponsored by LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis’ office, Equality California, Honor Pac, the Chairperson of the Los Angeles County Supervisors, Lindsey Horvath, the Ariadne Getty Foundation and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
The event promises to be an inspirational evening of joy, love, and unity, providing a space for connection, education and celebration during a season that can often be difficult for marginalized communities.
Edwin Milan, International President of LOUD (Latino Outreach and Understanding Division, an all inclusive affinity group of AHF that addresses social and health disparities facing Latinos through impactful programming, marketing and direct-action strategies like Jingle and Mingle. “Focusing our holiday efforts on the social well being of Asylum Seekers and others in our community who are facing daunting immigration challenges is the right thing to do. We believe everyone needs a warm and welcoming space to gather during the holidays, a place to connect and share stories of their brave journeys, have fun and find the support many of them need.”
“For many LGBTQ individuals navigating the complexities of immigration, the holiday season can be a lonely and challenging time,” said Los Angeles Blade publisher Troy Masters, an organizer of the event. “The mere fact that LGBTQ people can claim refugee status and seek safe haven in this country based on dangers they face in their home country by anti-LGBTQ forces and laws has been only recently enacted and recent political decisions make it clear that we must protect them. We can do that by celebrating those who have chosen this incredibly difficult pathway to safety.”
“As the holiday season approaches, our LGBTQ+ community deserves support and care, especially immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers who are struggling to feel at home here,” said Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Lindsey P. Horvath . “LA County is joining together with the Los Angeles Blade, LOUD and our community partners to welcome those who are new to our region and who deserve to be safe and supported in their new homes.”
LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis, who represents more than two million Angelenos in the First supervisorial district of Los Angeles County says, “The holidays are a time of peace, happiness, and joy, however, for the vast majority of immigrants, refugees, and LGBTQ+ individuals, this season could bring feelings of nostalgia and loneliness. As the Supervisor who represents a significant number of immigrants who also identify as LGBTQ+, I am proud to support this unique event, which will provide a sense of home to those often underserved. I am extremely thankful to the Los Angeles Blade for their immense support to our immigrant LGBTQ+ community during this giving season.”
Tony Hoang, Executive Director of Equality California said “Equality California proudly sponsors this event. We know that for many LGBTQ+ people, the holiday season can feel lonely and having a space to gather and a supportive community is crucial and life-saving. Our immigrant communities continue to face uncertainty, and it is important to remind them that we will continue advocating on their behalf and that they are supported and protected here in California.”
Jesus Paizano, a 22-year-old asylum seeker from Venezuela, in a video invitation to the event, said that he fled Venezuela to escape constant anti-LGBTQ hatred and threats of violence in Venezuela. Calling on other Los Angeles area asylum seekers, DACA beneficiaries and Undocumented people, Paizano sums up why he’s looking forward to the party: “If you are like me, you are alone here in this country without family and no other holiday makes me miss my family more than Christmas”
Mexican native Gretta Soto Moreno, who is transgender, says she came to the United States seeking Asylum because the discrimination she faced in her home country meant there was no opportunity for her. “We hope to gather to show love and support for one another and to learn from one another’s experiences. We also hope to hear from elected officials and other supporters.”
RuPaul Drag Race star Melissa B Fierce will be the MC for the event which will include:
· Festive food and a cash bar
· Live music and entertainment
· An informative panel discussion
· Opportunities for networking and connecting with others
Whether you’re an asylum seeker, DACA recipient, undocumented individual, or simply someone who wants to show support for the LGBTQ immigration community, this event is for you.
WHEN: Friday, December 22nd, 2023
TIME: 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM PST
WHERE: Heart Weho, 8911 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069
HOW: Tickets: Free (register online)
Don’t miss this chance to connect with your community and celebrate the holidays with love and joy. To register, click on the links below: