It begins as the most ordinary of stories and ends with three women who are trapped in a small apartment in a country I can’t name. If they are found here, they will be in danger, but they have nowhere else to go. They are queer refugees from a Muslim country, which means that the world doesn’t have a place for them. To piece together the story of Alisa, Sasha, and Elya (not their real names), I interviewed them by Skype and talked with four different people who witnessed various portions of their journey. The three women have been on the run from their native Chechnya for more than six months. All three are between the ages of twenty and twenty-five. Alisa worked as a civil servant in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya. Sasha, who had recently graduated from college with a degree in economics, was working at a menswear shop and making a small fortune in commissions. Elya was studying computer science at the university in Grozny.
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