Friendship, Pride, Allyship: Meet Kyle, a LGBTQIA+ Refugee Advocate in Minneapolis

Kyle Kvamme, the Communications & Development Coordinator for our affiliate ORAM, spoke with USA for UNHCR to share his inspiring journey as an advocate for LGBTQIA+ refugees.

(c) USA for UNHCR/Nicholas Feeney

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When Kyle Kvamme returned home to Minneapolis, Minnesota after serving in the Peace Corps, he sought community, new friends and employment. A chance meeting at a picnic during Twin Cities Pride in 2020 would be life-changing for Kyle. There, he met Juan, a gay man from Venezuela seeking asylum in the U.S. who would not only become his closest friend but also play an influential role in Kyle’s work advocating for LGBTQ refugees.

“I was looking for other queer friends, and it was during COVID, so it was hard to meet other people,” Kyle reflects. “A mutual friend was organizing a Pride picnic in the park, something social distancing appropriate, and that's where I met Juan.”

Juan, too, was looking for community. “It was very charming [meeting Kyle] because I didn't have any queer community here in Minneapolis,” shares Juan.

Read the full story on the UN Refugee Agency blog

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