With the Cocktail project, COC Leiden wants to break through the isolation of asylum seekers and refugees with a lesbian, gay, bisexual and / or transgender (LGBT) and introduce them in a safe way to the Dutch LGBT community.
Refugees often have to wait a long time for a better future. This requires a lot of patience. Patience is sometimes difficult to bear in an asylum center with different – sometimes hostile – nationalities, different cultures and where everyone has their own flight story, often full of unprocessed emotions and trauma. In addition, LGBT feelings and behaviors in an asylum seekers’ center – just as in the country of origin – often have to be kept hidden for fear of negative and even aggressive reactions from the immediate environment. But even once an asylum seeker has been granted residence status and possibly already has their own home, they are often still isolated, because they are not accepted by their own fellow countrymen.
Cocktail wants to break through the isolation of asylum seekers and refugees with an LGBT orientation and introduce them to Dutch society in a safe way. Cocktail does this by bringing them into contact with volunteers through (one-on-one) buddy contact and by organizing activities for and with this target group. Cocktail also wants to contribute, where possible, to improving the climate and increasing the safety of LGBTs in asylum seekers’ centers.
Cocktail is fully run by volunteers. Through meetings and activities, cocktail wants to create a space where you can be yourself and feel accepted.
At COC Leiden, Cocktail aims to organize an activity for LHBTI refugees and status holders once a month, either at Societeit de Kroon, the building of the COC, or in de Bakkerij. Both places are in walking distance of the Central Station of Leiden. Unfortunately, due to the corona measures our activities are currently (Fall 2020) suspended, and we only have online activities.