What I am going to write here, would raise a lot of eyebrows, I am sure. But again, maybe not, because I don’t think too many people read my blog anyway.
I will copy paste Alvaro’s history or bio here from the facebook page made in the hope that we can pressurize the immigration department from releasing him.
Alvaro first rose to national prominence in 2007 when his refugee claim was denied on the basis that he did not look “gay enough” for the adjudicator hearing his case via a television screen in Calgary.
This story was picked up by the largest newspapers in Nicaragua, effectively “outing” him to the entire country he left at age 12 due to severe physical abuse by a father who threatened to “kill any child of his that was homosexual.”
Alvaro, now 25, is still waiting for a decision on his Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) application.
Friends and supporters of Alvaro are meeting to move quickly to stay his deportation. It is critical that we keep this strong voice in our community.
Alvaro’s Accomplishments & Exhibits
– Volunteer/Mentor with Supporting Our Youth (SOY)
– Mayworks Festival, Toronto, 2011
– Toronto Youth Cabinet, 2010 Identify & Impact Awards, Street-Level Advocate Award Winner
– Migrant Expressions Photography Exhibition, Montreal, 2009
– Under the Bridge Art Exhibition, Toronto, 2009
– Jumblies Theatre, Prop-Maker and Photographer, Toronto, 2009
– Refugee Rights Day, Toronto City Hall, Toronto, 2008
– ArtWherk Collective 2007, Pride Art Exhibition, Toronto,
Very impressive portfolio, I must say. I ‘Liked’ the page. Added my voice to the cause too.
But then it made me think on the facts in his case. I admit, in a conservative country like Nicaragua, if he is forced to return, it would be a disaster. But there is a small factor which some how most of the people seem to not notice or is deliberately ignoring. Alvaro first went to the States and from there came to Canada. In both the cases, his status was illegal. And homeland security took him to custody. I don’t see any wrong in this.
I am sure, tons of other men and women are there in Nicaragua who are right at this time, going through a lot of discrimination, oppression, torture on the basis of their sexual orientation. Their troubles are no lesser than Alvaro’s. They couldn’t do what Alvaro did, live in a country illegally. They are there in the thick of it, taking the brunt and dealing with it, the best way they can. THEY are the heroes. And Alvaro is the escapist. The weaker one. And for some reason, we are making him the HERO.
When his immigration plea was denied, it was covered by Nicaragua’s leading newspaper and thus he was ‘outed’. Tomorrow, if he is allowed to stay in Canada, that could be covered by the newspapers too. And what message would we be sending to the country? “If you can just manage to land in Canada, even if illegally, we will rally against the government and pressurize them to make you stay.”
If he didn’t have such a remarkable bio-data, and was instead just a gay illegal immigrant, would we have still given our support? Maybe, God forbid, if the “Kill The Gays” bill becomes law in Uganda, they can and should just land in Canada too, and we will back them up.
Am I being too heartless, mean, etc etc? I don’t know. All I am asking is, why, just because Alvaro had the guts to stay in a country illegally and the others didn’t, couldn’t or wouldn’t do it, should he be almost awarded for this act?
Every illegal immigrant has a reason to leave their country and come here. How do we judge, Alvaro’s reason is more important or serious than the others. Why should we judge? Isn’t that discrimination? Shouldn’t there be the same rule for everybody?
I sincerely hope, Alvaro gets to stay. But these questions were bothering me for a few days now. The way I look at it, this is not about being gay, this is about the country’s security.