“Ireland is my house and Dublin is my home.”
Marlon Jimenez-Compton was forced to flee from Maracaibo, Venezuela, and become an Irish refugee in 2003. Since then, he has built a beautiful life for himself in Ireland alongside his loving husband, John, and their gorgeous dog, Sammy.
“I arrived with very little money in my pocket, a suitcase, but a huge bundle of dreams,” Marlon tells the world with a smile in a new video created and shared by the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees).
Today, June 9, 2022, marks 19 years since Marlon began his new life in Ireland, where he came to live openly as a gay man, free from persecution and discrimination.
Meet @jimenezmarlon72 – Irish Refugee Advisory Board member, Dublin South community radio show host and account manager @GCNmag.
During #PrideMonth, and every day, we celebrate, honour and acknowledge the perseverance of LGBTIQ+ refugees like Marlon! pic.twitter.com/wAJFHY32W4
— UNHCR Ireland (@UNHCRIreland) June 9, 2022
“I couldn’t live openly as I wanted to live, openly as an LGBTQ+ person,” he says in the video. He goes on to tell the story of how he came to be a local radio presenter for a show that gives “a voice to all those that feel they are voiceless”, The Marlon Show.
A lover of singing, dancing and performing, Marlon took to social media, posting videos of him merrily performing to the camera while washing dishes. As those videos gained popularity, Marlon got the call that offered him his own radio show, “where everybody is welcome”.
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While Marlon has his own platform to spread love and joy to the people of Ireland, he is also very grateful to the UNHCR for helping him share his experiences as a refugee.
“I feel both humbled and honoured to have been given the opportunity to have this platform to showcase part of my story. A story of resilience, determination, hope and, most of all, love,” he tells GCN with Pride.
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“It also feels like a full circle now that I am a member of the Refugee Advisory Board for UNHCR – Ireland. I take this very special moment to express my absolute gratitude to this country that embraced me dearly, allowing me to openly live as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. I have to proclaim it again: Ireland is my house and Dublin is my home.”
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