Kiss Men

James Lauder

Regular price $25.00

This Valentine's day we are selling 40 limited edition prints in partnership with James Lauder + Clubcard in order to raise money for LGBT+ men and women being detained, tortured and killed in Chechnya. 100% of all money made from the sale of each print will be going to Vancouver based Rainbow Refugee and they’re support of people seeking refugee protection in Canada because of persecution based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression (SOGIE) or HIV status.

Russian LGBT Network reports that since the end of December, approximately 40 people were detained, and at least three people have been killed. This a continuation of mass detentions in Chechnya starting in early 2017 when hundreds of individuals were rounded up solely upon suspicion of being LGBT+. 

Reports have surfaced from survivors that LGBT+ individuals are being sexually assaulted with electric shock sticks at the hands of Chechen officers. Other survivors of what has become known as the “gay purge”, have reported beatings, starvation, deprivation of water in detention, and are subjected to electric-shock treatment in an effort to force them to incriminate others. If released they are outed to family members, who were encouraged to take matters into their own hands. The Chechen government tacitly supports so-called honour killings of homosexuals.

The Russian LGBT Network and Rainbow Railroad, a Canadian NGO, have been working with the government to identify candidates, bring them to Canada and help them settle here. Many of the new arrivals are still reeling from the traumas and dislocations of the past six months. "And then you have the day-to-day things like finding a place to live, learning English, the grocery store, the medical system – everything is new," Ms. Kennedy said. "They're starting over." But there is little government funding for LGBT refugees. 

"LGBTQ refugees face special challenges from arrival through integration," said Sharalyn Jordan, board chairwoman of the Vancouver-based Rainbow Refugee, which helps match LGBT refugee applicants to private sponsors. The need for financial support increases as the number of sexual-minority refugees increases.

About Rainbow Refugee:

Founded in 2000, Rainbow Refugee is a Vancouver based community group that supports people seeking refugee protection in Canada because of persecution based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression (SOGIE) or HIV status. We support and assist LGBTQ+ /HIV+ refugee claimants in BCs Lower Mainland through facilitated peer support, referrals, system navigation and accompaniment. (See Resources page.)

We are proud to steward the Rainbow Refugee Assistance Project, a Blended Private Sponsorship Agreement in partnership with Immigration, Refugees Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Through this program, LGBTQ+ communities in more than 14 municipalities across Canada have sponsored LGBTQ+ refugees.
We bring the perspectives of LGBTQ+ refugees into refugee policy and practice through knowledge exchanges, briefs and testimony to parliament,  public and service provider education.

Rainbow Refugee is a registered not for profit in BC and a registered charity with CRA.

To read more or make a donation visit:

Illustrated by James Lauder from Vancouver, BC