Last month, CST was invited to be a community partner for Polari (, the Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival, in its 25th annual festival. Community partners are organizations that Polari chooses to recognize for their work on behalf of the LGBTQ community in Austin. CST sponsored the film “The Invisible Men” (, an award-winning documentary that tells the story of three gay Palestinian men living undocumented in Israel and considering the option to seek asylum in another country, leaving their homeland behind. The men in this film, like many LGBTQ individuals around the world, face persecution, threats, and torture in their home communities due to their sexual orientation and/or gender expression. But then they face harassment and fear due to lack of immigration documentation when they reach a country where there is less threat due to their LGBTQ identities.
The film brought to light a struggle that many CST clients face, regardless of the reason for their persecution: Is it worth it to leave behind my home and all that I love in order to be somewhere safe? From the outside, it can sometimes seem straightforward that one’s personal safety should always be the primary consideration, but when hearing stories of the pain in not seeing familiar places, eating familiar foods, and hearing familiar sounds we are reminded that it is not a simple or easy decision that refugees and political asylum seekers face.
We are honored that CST was selected to sponsor this film so that we could help others to have a glimpse into the lives of people around the world who face persecution; we are also honored that our clients trust us to help them navigate their complicated situations and accompany them through their healing processes. If you have an opportunity to view “The Invisible Men”, we highly recommend it.