Kim Mundis met Lincy Sopall, a transgender fashion designer and asylee from Honduras, at an event where she became one of her first customers. The two are now among one another's closest friends. “If I didn’t have Kim’s friendship, I would feel like I did when I was a young girl—completely alone,” says Lincy.

The IRC’s “Stories of Welcome” series showcases the growing bonds between refugees and asylees, and their fellow Americans. But even as these transformative friendships are taking root, the Trump Administration has shut the door on people seeking safety and is threatening America’s legacy of welcome. Explore more of these moving stories

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Lincy: If I didn’t have Kim’s friendship, I would feel like I did when I was a young girl—completely alone.

Title: Stories of Welcome | Refugees and their friends share how they’ve changed each other’s lives

Lincy: My name is Lincy Sopall and I’m a fashion designer. I had to leave my home country, Honduras, because of discrimination and violence for being transgender. I remember the time when Kim came up to my table to look at my designs and I see Kim go, “Wow! I love it!”

Kim: What I most like to do is learn from her style and figure out what my next outfit might look like because I have no sense of style—she has all of the style.

Lincy: (In English) Okay practice, practice. It was so wonderful and moving when Kim took me to a Honduran restaurant here in Phoenix, Arizona for my birthday. I was very happy and for me, birthdays have always been very moving because you always get a hug, and a hug is a breath of life.

Kim: I would encourage anyone who feels strongly that someone like Lincy shouldn’t be here—I would take them both to coffee, to tea. I don’t know how anyone could spend five minutes with Lincy and not have a change of heart. When I’m having a bad day, I think of Lincy and this smile and this laugh and how she’s just so determined and it makes me stronger for knowing her.