LGBT people face both generalized and unique vulnerabilities that cause many to leave their country
of origin and seek refuge in another. Consensual same-sex conduct remains criminalized in 69
countries, and as many as 11 countries could impose the death penalty if convicted. Research shows
that many LGBT people face persecution and violence, including domestic violence, rape, and murder,
as well as discrimination in areas like education, employment, housing, and healthcare.
Little information exists about the number and characteristics of LGBT asylum seekers in the United
States. Using Asylum Prescreening System data from the United States Citizenship and Immigration
Service (USCIS), this report aims to fill these gaps. Our analysis relies upon fear interviews conducted
by USCIS between January 3, 2007 and November 17, 2017 and coded as related to sexual orientation
or gender identity (“LGBT status”).