On J’s Side: Help an LGBT+ Refugee Settle in Canada

Last Day in HK video:


Video of John’s life in Hong Kong:



港同志基督徒難民的故事 Story of a Gay Christian Refugee:Mr. J – 信仰百川




Oct 16, 2019:

Visa for Canada granted, departed Hong Kong


Oct 3, 2019 – J has been granted a visa to enter Canada and his flight is scheduled to leave on Oct 16

Nov 8, 2018 – Canada gives J’s case a number and approves the private sponsorship portion.

Sep 27, 2018 – Official submission of the application to Canadian govt.

Jun 15, 2018 – Sponsorship Circle formation in Vancouver



We are a refugee sponsorship group called “On J’s Side.” We are sponsoring J, a 34-year-old person from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region who identifies with the LGBT community, to claim refugee status in Canada. J’s situation is unique: he is in danger of being deported from Hong Kong, but his application for Canada is currently underway. Please help us raise $30,826 for his settlement in Vancouver! His goal is to build a better life in Canada and pay the amount forward to help other asylum seekers. He has been through many mental and physical hardships, but he is not broken, and he wants to be the hope and light for others who have suffered the same oppression. 


To protect the privacy of J, all personally identifiable details are excluded. Gender violence is a serious matter. To learn more about J’s story feel free to contact us.

J’s Story

J grew up in a conservative family and faced various types of physical and mental abuse by family and community members when his sexuality was discovered. He was prescribed “conversion therapy” in an attempt to alter his sexual orientation. These unproven methods of care have contributed to J’s depression and life-long trauma. Under increasingly dangerous circumstances, J sought to escape.


During his escape, his conversion to the Christian faith has played a major role in his life and has led him to friends, shelters, and possibilities in his journey. His faith gave him the motivation to survive and the tenacity to endure the worst of circumstances.


For nine years, J was forced to drift from country to country in the MENA region, but on account of his sexuality, he was met with further physical violence. Under the recommendation of local humanitarian organizations, he bought a plane ticket out of the region, arriving in Hong Kong in 2016.

What’s Wrong with His Status in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong did not sign the UN Refugee Convention in 1951, giving the government rights to deport asylum seekers regardless of the difficulty of their circumstances. With the help of various local NGOs and inclusive churches, we have lodged a claim against the government to help J establish refugee status in Hong Kong under humanitarian concerns. He can only be referred to another country for resettlement assisted by UNHCR if he is granted refugee status.


Unfortunately, the Hong Kong government is not concerned about or sympathetic towards his situation. For the last two and a half years, J’s case has been repeatedly rejected. The final appeal is approaching in October 2018, making it a matter of urgency. His lawyers have projected that he may likely lose his case. If so, J will immediately be deported back to his country of birth, where he faces the dangers he was originally forced to escape from.


His only hope is to resettle as a refugee in Canada through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program.


Oct 3rd, 2017

New York Times – Egypt Expands Crackdown on Gay and Transgender People


Jun 18th, 2018

NPR – After Crackdown, Egypt’s LGBT Community Contemplates ‘Dark Future’


Jul 21st, 2018

Buzzfeed – This man was jailed for raising the rainbow flag


About Us: On J’s Side

We are a group of volunteers and sponsors from Hong Kong and Canada. We are a diverse group consisting of NGO staff, entrepreneurs, students, and teachers.


Alan ⧫ Amanda ⧫ Carven ⧫ Doriane ⧫ Elizabeth ⧫ Frances. ⧫ Jacob ⧫ Mark ⧫ Orton ⧫ Rick ⧫ Trevor

About Our Partner: Rainbow Refugee Committee

Rainbow Refugee partners with the United Church of Canada (UCC) in this process as a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) with the Government of Canada.


Founded in 2000, Rainbow Refugee is a Vancouver based community group that supports people seeking refugee protection in Canada because of persecution based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression (SOGIE) or HIV status.


Rainbow Refugee is a registered non-profit organization in BC and a registered charity with the CRA.

Where will the funds go?

The money that we raise will be withdrawn by Alan Hau, one of the sponsors in this campaign. The entire amount will be transferred to Rainbow Refugee via wire transfer. The funds will be held in escrow by Rainbow Refugee in Canada. All funds will go directly towards J’s living expenses, to be disbursed monthly for the duration of 12 months. 

Tax Receipts

Canadian Residents
Rainbow Refugee can issue tax receipts for donations of $25 or more. 


Hong Kong Residents

Blessed Ministry Community Church, J’s spiritual home, can issue a donation receipt for any amounts for tax deduction purposes.


In order to receive a tax receipt, you must provide your email when you donate.  We will contact you for your address and full name once the campaign is complete so that the respective organizations can issue the tax receipt.


Budget Breakdown

One-Time Expenses:
Travel to Canada $1,300
Clothing $750
Furniture $1,500
Household utilities setup (cell phone, internet, etc.) $800
Identification costs $200
Education costs (English classes and books) $500

Total One Time Expenses: $5,050

Monthly Costs for J’s First Year:
Shelter / rent $1,200

Household utilities $120
Transportation $128
Living allowance (food, cell phone, incidentals including medical, etc.)  $700

Total Monthly Costs: $ 2,148 monthly


*estimates from Numbeo

Total GoFundMe Budget:
Total One Time Expenses $5,050
Total Monthly Costs for 12 Months: $2,100 x 12 = 25,776
Total GoFundMe Budget:  $30,826


<<< Any funds donated over the goal will go towards helping J resettle in Canada. >>>

Special mention to these allies and organizations without whom the campaign wouldn’t have been possible.


Blessed Ministry Community Church / BMCC 基恩之家

Society of True Light 真光社 

St. Hilda’s Anglican Church

St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church

Sleep Wooven


Everyone who has been fighting for LGBTI rights in Asia & MENA, the next frontier in gender equality.