International

Gay man Cesar defends rights of LGBT migrants

Three gay friends murdered recently in Puerto Cortes, Mexico

Huixtla (Mexico).

Many Central American migrants making their way to the United States border are attempting to escape an array the multitude of ills scourging their home countries, including discrimination against LGBT people.

"I’m escaping poverty, crime, discrimination and everything," Cesar, a 23-year-old gay man, told newsmen. "There is no work or anything. No food. I think I’ve eaten more on this journey than back home."

A native of San Pedro Sula, Honduras’ second city, Mejia was a volunteer at a local NGO that aims to prevent sexually transmitted diseases by handing out condoms and providing information to young people.

"That was my last job, although I was volunteering," he said in Huixtla, where the group of more than 7,000 people will continue their journey toward the United States border, still some 2,000km away.

Back home, Cesar struggled to make ends meet, struggling to support his mother – who found herself out of a job at 62 when the factory where she worked closed – on his low salary.

He also said that he had been the victim of discrimination ever since he came out of the closet, particularly among his neighbourhood’s young gang members, who hurled insults at him as he walked past them on the street.

One time he was even beaten and he went to the police, but no action was taken, and three of his gay friends were murdered recently in Puerto Cortes.

To Cesar, the caravan means escaping poverty and violence, but he is not the only one who thinks that way.

Sitting on a sidewalk in Huixtla are four travel partners from El Salvador, two gay men and two transgender women.

Cesar fears that, now that his story has been covered by several media outlets, things could take a turn for the worse should he be deported and thrown back to his country.

His goal is to make it to the US, but he is afraid of being locked up or extradited to Honduras, where he decisively said he "cannot go back."

Against all odds, the migrant caravan has traversed more than 700km across Central America and Southern Mexico in hopes of ultimately reaching the US border to have a shot at the American dream.

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