Q: Who are you?
A: TransEmigrate is a nonprofit organisation based in Europe and in the process of legally incorporating in Germany. We are majority trans-led, but we also have trusted cis allies on the Board. We are dedicated to helping transgender people who are trying to move to safer countries. We mainly do this by helping our clients explore their options for legal, non-asylum emigration to safe countries. We also offer information and support services from our Destination Countries where we build networks to receive new immigrants. We have the ability to do this in selected languages.
Q: Who's behind this organisation?
A: An Irish-American trans woman in Ireland (who is now severing ties to the US) started this organisation, having fled from the US to Ireland in 2019. Many of her Irish ancestors were refugees. She started this organisation with the goal of making trans people from around the world as mobile as possible, and to be able to avoid persecution in our changing world. We now have 12 members [Sep 2020] from several countries, primarily in Europe, and we are legally incorporating in Germany. We are majority trans and nonbinary led, but we have a few good cis allies on our team. Our intent is global in scope and reach. More information is available in German on our sidebar.
Q: Why Germany?
A: Germany is a highly attractive destination for transgender people seeking to migrate to a safe country on either an asylum or non-asylum basis. It is not the safest possible country in the world for transgender people or for refugees, but Germany's relative safety in combination with relative ease of legal migration into the country caused us to establish logistical and legal presence in Germany. Our legal presence in Germany also allows us to take advantage of Germany's Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG) to maximise client confidentiality. Please see Germany page on our list of Destination Countries.
Q: You sound great, but you're new. How do you know that you'll be able to help?
A: Our founder is a transgender migrant. Our Board of Directors includes [as of Sep 2020] two other successful transgender migrants, and we are looking to recruit more to help fill leadership positions. We recruit relevant expertise from around the world to focus on migration for trans people. As of Sep 2020, two of our clients have successfully arrived in safe countries on a legal, non-asylum basis and are settling in, and we have helped a third to flee her country of origin and she is in transit status through an undisclosed country.
Q: Do you accept asylum cases?
A: We do accept some asylum cases, subject to our discretion - and mainly, subject to our ability to successfully do so. However, asylum cases are very difficult, and require a great deal of resources. For asylum cases, we call in support from larger organisations willing to work with us, such as Amnesty and UN Migration.
We are a new organisation with very limited capacity to help asylum seekers. You may contact us if you are a transgender person wanting to claim asylum, but your first points of contact should be these:
All Out - https://allout.org/en
Rainbow Railroad - https://www.rainbowrailroad.org/
Q: I'm from the United States. Would I qualify for asylum anywhere?
A: As of this writing in September 2020, most likely not, unless yours is a special case, where you are being personally targeted by your government in retaliation for your activism for trans rights, or other human rights activism, and you are dealing with threats or intimidation by the United States government, your chances would be close to zero. Please see our page for Countries in Decline for more information.
Q: Which countries are you focusing on?
A1: We accept Requests for Assistance from most countries of the world, and we prioritise according to how much danger applicants are in, and by our own ability to help people. We are mainly limited by the languages our staff speak, and in a few instances, political barriers that make it impossible to serve clients in certain countries. Please see more on our How to Request Help page.
A2: Destination Countries are Safe Countries where TransEmigrate has detailed information and on-the-ground logistical support for supporting transgender migrants. We are continually working to expand our list of Destination Countries.
Q: What about the UK and Ireland?
Scotland and the Republic of Ireland are TransEmigrate-designated safe regions, and we do not support migration out of these countries.
England and Wales miss our full criteria for TransEmigrate-designated safe countries, and we support migration out of England and Wales on a low-priority basis.
Trans people in Northern Ireland are not safe. NI has the most anti-LGBT laws and policies in the entire UK, and the situation is also volatile due to Brexit and the threat of ongoing sectarian violence. Applicants from NI will be accepted and processed on a low or medium priority basis for migration to safer regions.
Q: What about USA states?
A: Most of the USA is not safe for trans people, especially under the Trump regime. However, certain areas remain mostly safe for now. If you are transgender and unable to leave the USA, we advise a move to one of the safest states, which we consider as: California, Washington, New York, or Vermont. Our reasons for these selections, along with a full page regarding internal migration in the USA, is forthcoming.
Q: Why might my Request for Assistance be denied?
If, after collecting your information through the intake process, we believe you to be not an actual trans person in need, but rather a "troll", we will dismiss your application. If your application is questionable, you may be asked for further information.
We do not provide emigration support to applicants with citizenship in, or with secure legal residency for at least two upcoming years, in a designated Safe Country.
We do not help trans people who wish to move to a more dangerous country than the one they are currently in. We help trans people to move to safer countries, not to more dangerous ones. We do not grant exceptions, even for unification with a partner.
TransEmigrate stands opposed to colonisation, and refuses to support pro-colonisation emigration. We will always favour de-colonisation moves when possible, but we may support lateral moves, subject to our discretion.
We are incapable of helping people from a short list of restricted countries due to geopolitical restrictions.
Please see more info on our How to Request Help page.
Q: But I have a partner in [dangerous country] I want to unite with! And they can't come to my country! Can you help me then?
A: No, we cannot. We cannot be held responsible for helping you to endanger yourself, therefore, we will not open an official case for you. However, you are still free to browse our website, join our public chats, and speak with our Board Members and Staff informally.
Q: Who decides which countries are more or less dangerous?
A: Some are obvious. Others may be disputable. If you have a reasonable dispute about the relative safety of countries and we consider your dispute valid, our Board Members will discuss and vote on the matter before getting back to you with a final response.
Q: What if I want to move to another country that is equally safe for personal reasons, such as to access trans health care, or to join my partner?
A: We may be able to help you. Please send a Request for Assistance and we will evaluate.
Q: Why do you declare yourself as anti-colonial? Aren't you being white saviours? Don't 'All Lives Matter'?
A: TransEmigrate doesn't just stand with BIPOC (Black and Indigenous People of Colour). We include them as leaders and decisionmakers in our organsation. And we make the rules.
Q: What about disabled trans people? Will disabled trans people be left behind?
A: Disabled trans people living in dangerous countries face many challenges, including special challenges when attempting to emigrate to a place of safety. Capitalist power structures impose huge barriers to migration, but we are committed to the safety of our disabled clients and to finding solutions. All trans people living in dangerous countries, including disabled trans people, are invited to apply with us.
Q: What do you charge for your services?
A: All of our services are free! We will never charge any fees for our services, ever. If you encounter anyone pretending to be part of our organisation, asking for money in exchange for helping your emigration plans, please report the incident with as much detail as possible to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: So how does your organisation operate, if you don't charge any money?
A: We operate on volunteer time and resources, blood, sweat, and tears. Beginning in September 2020 - we will become a fully registered charitable association (eV) in Germany and begin to solicit donations to further support our cause.