Committed to providing social, emotional, educational and advocacy support for LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers in the UK, Say It Loud was first set up by Ugandan student Aloysius Ssali. By 2003, Ssali and his queer identity had become well known enough for him to become a target, and decided to come to the UK to continue with his studies. 

When he returned to Uganda in 2005, he was captured and tortured – just because of his sexuality. He still had six months left on his student visa, so he fled to the UK. The UK didn’t formally recognise sexuality as a reason for claiming refugee status until 2010, so Aloysius was forced to live without papers for five years. In 2010, he successfully claimed refugee status. 

Newly arrived LGBTQ+ refugees have overcome incredible challenges for the chance to call the UK their home. Seeing that there was a huge lack of support for LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers, Aloysius decided to found the Say It Loud Club in the UK in 2010. Since then, the organisation has helped hundreds of LGBTQ+ refugees to successfully gain the right to live freely in the UK. Without his help many would have had to return to their home countries where they had faced discrimination, violence and even fear of death. He has also built a network which helps its members come to terms with their own sexuality and find a community and support system in the UK. 

For years, he ran Say It Loud out of his own pocket, working as a nurse to support himself and the growing the Say It Loud community. In 2018, with the support of Help Refugees, Aloysius is now able to work full-time to help LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers for the next year. 

Whilst Aloysius is doing everything, he can to support the 200+ members currently in the Say it Loud Club community, we need your help to do more. Only 1 in 4 people who apply for asylum on the basis of their sexuality are granted status in this country often because they don’t have the legal representation to build their claim successfully. Say it Loud Club needs your help to get legal aid, advocacy, and support to those who need it most. 

Say It Loud rely on the incredible community of supporters to continue their work. Donate today to join them in helping LGBTQ+ refugees find safety, happiness, and pride in the UK.

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