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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.

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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,
Max

Photo Credit: Steven Laxton