Home > Blog > I fled for my life from Russia

Dear Friend,

My name is Max, and I am a 40-year-old gay man from Uzbekistan. Thanks to your support, I now have asylum and will be able to live safely in the United States. This is my story.

In Uzbekistan, it is a crime to be gay. I lived in constant fear for my life and planned my escape every day. By 2003, I had scraped enough money together to move to Moscow where I was able to experience many exciting firsts: dates, relationships, even love. However, I was still not safe in Russia. A series of violent assaults left me with a broken ankle and other serious injuries, and so I fled to the United States in 2013. When I arrived in New York, I had no money, no place to live, and no idea what to do. Luckily, I found Immigration Equality.


The wonderful people at Immigration Equality knew exactly how to help me. They guided me through the immigration process and made me feel empowered and supported. With their help, I won asylum this summer! Thanks to Immigration Equality and its supporters, I have flourished in America in a way that would never have been possible in Uzbekistan or Russia.

Donate today to help Immigration Equality fight for more LGBTQ immigrants like me!

I work as a painter and graphic designer, and last year I married the sweetest man I have ever met. Every single day feels like a new opportunity. There are so many LGBTQ and HIV-positive people who are looking to create safe, successful lives for themselves and their families. All they need is Immigration Equality, and a little bit of help from you.

All my best,

Photo Credit: Steven Laxton