This week read about a church in Massachusetts offering a "safe space" for LGBT asylum-seekers, and a university launching Illinois' first urology clinic for gay and bisexual men.

Church Opens ‘Safe Space’ for LGBT Asylum-Seekers

Hadwen Park Congregational Church’s LGBT Asylum Task Force opened its renovated apartment building, which will serve as a safe space for LGBT immigrants seeking asylum.

The task force raised over $500,000 to purchase and renovate the three-story building that was once a group home.

According to Al Green, the ministry’s director, the task force would previously put asylum-seekers into rented apartments, but found that as the program has grown, coordinating services amongst new immigrants has become more challenging.

Over Thanksgiving weekend, the first members, three gay men, moved to the apartment in Worcester, Massachusetts. The Associated Press reported that the church is offering a permanent home to the residents.

Alain Spyke, 26, fled Jamaica after he was continuously harassed and threatened by a local gang for his sexual orientation.

“I don’t even have the words,” he said. “To come into this country and have a safe space to escape all the hardships and trauma? Not everyone has that opportunity.”

Over several years, the ministry has helped over 400 asylum-seekers and is currently helping 21.

University Launches Nation’s First Urology Clinic for Gay, Bisexual Men


Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. Photo via Facebook.

Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, has created the first urology clinic in the nation dedicated to gay and bisexual men, according to CBS. It’s called the Gay and Bisexual Men’s Urology Program.

“There are differences between gay and bisexual men and straight men. You have other organs to think about, like the prostate and rectal health, and other things that matter to non-heterosexual men,” said Dr. Channa Amarasekera.

Patients also face emotional challenges that are unique to LGBT individuals, so the clinic provides other resources as well.

“We have social workers in the clinic, we have sex therapists that we have connections with, and then we think about the patient as a whole,” said Dr. Amarasekera.

Matthew Curtin is a patient with the clinic and worked with Dr. Amarasekera, battling prostate cancer. Northwestern Medicine removed Curtin’s prostate and aided in recovery.

“The journey is just so — I just feel very fortunate really to have caught it the way I did,” Curtin said. “I think there might be a hesitancy for some gay men to not trust that medical environment, and as we get older, the importance of it is so critical.”


From the First Non-binary Council Member in Atlanta to a Trans Student Outed, This Week in Across the Country