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SPOTLIGHT SERIES

Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation in the Context of Migration

The purpose of this Spotlight Series is to analyse how gender identity and sexual orientation impacts migratory issues in different countries. This will be explored through a blog post every few weeks which focuses on the situation in a particular country, thereby shining a 'spotlight' on the specific issues faced in that country. For example, this might include how members of the LGBTQIA+ community are fleeing a country due to the persecution that they face. Another example could be how LGBTQIA+ migrants are treated in the host state.

We invite contributors to write a blog piece between 1000 - 2000 words (although we are flexible about this word count). The blog post should focus on the situation in a particular country to keep analysis as focused as possible. Contributors can submit their piece in their native language alongside an English version, which our team will then edit to make it as coherent as possible. When submitting your piece, please provide us with a couple of sentences about yourself for us to include in the blog post.  

 

We hope that through this series, we will raise awareness of the different prejudices and obstacles faced by LGBTQIA+ migrants. Once we have finished the blog series, it is envisaged that we will host an online conference, inviting all contributors of the Spotlight Series, as well as those interested in this issue. This will allow us draw comparisons between different countries and conclusions about strategies to improve the obstacles faced by migrants.

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This series is coordinated by Vítor Lopes Andrade and Imogen Mellor.

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LGBTIQ+ FORCIBLY DISPLACED PEOPLE’S NEEDS: SAFETY, BELONGING AND FREEDOM FROM VIOLENCE

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Tina Dixson and Renee Dixson are a couple, feminists, PhD Candidates, activists and founders of the Forcibly Displaced People Network. Tina and Renee have found their home on the unceded lands of the Ngunnawal people (Canberra, Australia).

In this post, they discuss the plight of LGBTIQ+ people who are forcibly displaced. They shine a spotlight on the fact that there is little discussion about the lives of LGBTIQ+ forcibly displaced people in the host countries and whether they are able to find the safety, community and belonging they all are striving for. Little attention is paid to the ongoing and systemic experiences of erasure and marginalisation of LGBTIQ+ people that prevail.

They describe the Forcibly Displaced People Network and suggest steps which services need to take to properly support LGBTIQ+ people who have been forcibly displaced. 

 

SPACES OF VIOLENCE, SPACES OF RESISTANCE:

NOTES ON LGBTIQ+ IMMIGRATION IN BRAZIL

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Hadriel Theodoro is a doctoral researcher in the Postgraduate Program in Communication and Consumption Practices at the Superior School of Advertisement and Marketing (PPGCOM-ESPM), Brazil. His research is funded by the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP). 

Hadriel analyses how the LGBTQIA+ community is treated in Brazil. He describes the advances of resources for LGBTQIA+ people in the medical and legal fields, however, Hadriel also explains that there is still a lot of oppression for this community, including the absence of reception services for LGBTQIA+ refugees and immigrants.

LEGALLY UNRECOGNIZED BUT BUREAUCRATICALLY TOLERATED: QUEER IRANIAN REFUGEES LIVING IN TURKEY 

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Shouleh, a lesbian refugee from Iran, told the author, “We (Iranian queer refugees living in Turkey) want only three things: resettlement, financial help, and parties!”. She started the sentence with a serious face and ended it with warm laughter. Mert Koçak, a PhD candidate in Sociology and Social Anthropology, explores Shouleh’s three demands. In doing so, Mert highlights the obstacles that many queer Iranian refugees face when attempting to live in Turkey.  

 
 

ORIENTALIST BRITAIN: MANAGING THE INCLUSION/EXCLUSION OF RACIALISED SEXUAL OTHERS INTO THE UK 

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Rosa dos Ventos Lopes Heimer is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Geography at King’s College London. She holds a BSc in Sociology from the Federal University of Bahia and a MSc in Gender, Policy and Inequalities from the London School of Economics. Before joining King's, Rosa worked in research, policy and managing regional, national and international projects in the intersecting areas of gender equality, migration, violence against women and LGBTQI rights nationally and internationally. Her doctoral research explores the ways in which coloniality informs the experiences of violence and resistance of Latin American migrant women in the UK who are survivors of intimate partner violence. Her PhD is funded by the CAPES Brazil.

She explores the refugee law in relation to sexual-based claims of asylum, which can be considered as a contributor to sexual oppression of queer people seeking asylum in the UK.

 

LGBTIQ+ REFUGEES EXIST AND BELIEVE:

CHALLENGING THE BINARY WESTERN THOUGHTS ON ASYLUM SEEKERS, RELIGION, AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER IDENTITY

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Ernesto Fiocchetto is an Argentinean Sociologist and Specialist in Religion and Migration. He studied and worked at Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Mendoza, from 2001 until 2017, when he moved to the US to start his graduate studies at Florida International University (FIU). At FIU, he earned a Masters in Religious Studies and, currently, he is a Ph.D. student in International Relations. He also works as a Graduate Assistant for the Miami-Florida Jean Monnet European Center of Excellence. His research interests center on the multidimensional intersection of transnational mobility, sexual orientation and gender identities, and religion. For his dissertation, he explores the displacement and reception and integration processes of LGBTIQ+ Latin American asylum claimants in the EU and the US and the role of religion, particularly faith actors, in such processes.

He challenges the binary Western thoughts on asylum seekers, religion, and sexual orientation and gender identity.

 

LGBTQIA+ ACTIVISTS AND REFUGEES – RACIALIZING ACTIVISM AND DECOLONIZING SOLIDARITY IN SPAIN

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Nathali Arias is an Afro-Dominican activist and doctoral researcher at the University of Sussex school of Global Studies where she tutors in the Gender and Development module. She received an MSc from Queen Mary University of London in Migration, Culture and Global Health Policy in 2016, and has a BA in Political Science from Rutgers University. For her doctoral thesis Nathali is exploring the experiences of legally precarious migrant women, and the roles of care work and migrant-led activism in Cataluña, Spain.

She writes about the hostile immigration, social and labour policies which restrict the movement and rights of refugees in Spain. 

 

ON QUEERING MOVEMENT AMID HISTORICAL INVISIBILITY: SEXUALITY, GENDER AND MIGRATION

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Jasmin is a Canadian-Lebanese researcher, writer, editor, reviewer, instructor and consultant in the areas of Forced Migration, Gender and Conflict. She is the Refugee Health Program Coordinator at the American University of Beirut's Global Health Institute, as well as a Research Associate on the Political Economy of Health in Conflict under its Conflict Medicine Program. Jasmin is a Research Affiliate at the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University (Canada), an Adjunct Professor in Gender and Migration at the Fatima Al-Fihri Open University (Morocco) and a Junior Fellow at the 'War, Conflict and Global Migration' Think Tank of the Global Research Network (UK). In other roles, she serves as the MENA Regional Focal Point on Migration of the United Nations General Assembly-mandated UN Major Group for Children and Youth (USA), and as a Senior Consultant on Forced Migration and Gender at Cambridge Consulting Services (UK). 

Jasmin is a Founding Member of the 'Migration and International Law in Africa, Middle East and Turkey International Network', dedicated to the research of Migration through the Global South (2018 to present), and has served as a Reviewer to the Journal of Internal Displacement (Canada), a Reviewer and Copy-Editor to the journal 'Refugee Review' (Canada), and as an Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Applied Professional Studies at Marywood University (USA) since 2020.

She is completing a PhD in International Relations and Diplomacy with an emphasis on Asylum, Refugees and Security at the esteemed Centre d'Etudes Diplomatiques et Stratégiques, INSEEC U. in France, and is the author of two books and over sixty academic and para-academic publications on intersectional issues across Migration, Gender, Conflict, Human Rights, International Relations and International Law.

Jasmin writes about the history of migration and queerness, exploring laws which excluded LGBT+ migrants from seeking asylum. She concludes by suggesting what approaches we should take in the future in order to be more receptive of LGBT+ immigrants.

 

PROTECTING LGBTI ASYLUM SEEKERS: A SHORT HISTORY OF SOUTH AFRICA'S GLOBAL LEADERSHIP

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Miriam Gleckman-Krut (she/her) is a sociology PhD candidate at the University of Michigan (USA). She researches and teaches about gender, sexuality, violence, and the state. Her work is funded by the University of Michigan's Sociology Department, African Studies Center, Department of African and African American Studies, and International Institute, as well as the Social Science Research Council. For more information, please see her Department webpage (here).

Miriam analyses  the South African migration policies from the Apartheid government until the inclusion the sexual orientation as a ground for asylum in the late 90s. 

 

WHAT MAKES A HOME: UNDERSTANDING  SOGI  REFUGEES’ HOMEMAKING PROCESSES THROUGH THEIR OWN WORDS AND PICTURES

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This blog post explores the following questions through a participant-led approach: 

  1. How is the homemaking of SOGI refugees unique?

  2. How does sexual orientation and gender identity impact refugee homemaking patterns in the UK? 

 

The research suggests that SOGI refugees build homes in their new communities through a transformative process in which the idea of a home is continually reimagined within the unique circumstances of their lives.

Isabel Soloaga is a University of Sussex graduate who studies migration and global development. She writes about human rights, migration and climate issues for newspapers and nonprofits in her home state of California and in the UK.

 

THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC ON LGBTTQIA+ MIGRANT AND REFUGEE PEOPLE IN BRAZIL

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Marina Siqueira is lesbian, lawyer and master's student in Public Policies in Human Rights by NEPP-DH/UFRJ focusing on migrant and refugees LBTT Latin American woman in Brazil. She is a specialist in Gender and Sexuality by CLAM/IMS/UERJ, has already worked with access to rights and health for LGBTTQIA+ population and people living with HIV/AIDS and with advocacy on humanitarian issues for Latin America, with missions in Roraima in the context of Venezuelan migration and Covid-19. At LGBT+Movimento, an organization she co-created, she works as Protection and Advocacy Coordinator.

 

Nathália Antonucci is lesbian and doctoral student in Public Health in the area of Human Sciences and Health at IMS/UERJ. She completed a master's degree in Anthropology at UFF with a focus on life experiences of trans and lesbian women, Venezuelans and asylum seekers who migrated to Roraima and were later interiorized to Rio de Janeiro. She is a specialist in Gender and Sexuality by CLAM/ IMS/UERJ. At LGBT+Movimento, an organization she co-created, she works as Community Mobilization Coordinator.

 

They explore the migratory flow to Brazil with a focus on the invisibility and marginalization of LGBTTQIA + migrants and the impact that this community has suffered in the pandemic.

 
 

MORE THAN QUEER: RETHINKING DIASPORA AND FAITH-SPACES IN THE LIVES OF LGBTQ+ ASYLUM SEEKERS IN THE UK

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Aydan Greatrick is an ESCR-funded PhD Candidate at University College London. His research focuses on the experiences of receiving and providing support for LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers in England and Germany. He is also project coordinator on the AHRC-ESRC funded Refugee Hosts project at UCL, and a Project Officer with the ESRC-funded Pride in the Field project, University of Leeds. Aydan also teaches on the MSc in Global Migration, UCL Geography.  Aydan has a BA in History from the University of Cambridge and an MSc in Global Migration from UCL. See Aydan’s publications here

In this blog piece, Aydan challenges the stereotypes that religion is always detrimental to LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and explores the support from diaspora spaces can be essential to their experience

 

THE BISEXUALITY BLIND SPOT: AN EXPLORATION INTO ASYLUM CLAIMS ON THE BASIS OF PERSECUTION DUE TO BISEXUAL ORIENTATION IN THE NETHERLANDS

Sofia D’Arcio is a human rights graduate from University College Maastricht who specialises in women’s rights, LGBTQI+ rights, and migration. She is currently interning at the Dutch Refugee Council, where she monitors legal developments in Dutch and international asylum practice related to LGBTQI+ asylum applicants, female asylum applicants, and religious converts. She also interns for the Senate fraction of the Dutch Green Left party, where she analyses legal proposals on (among others) the topic of migration and equality.

LGBTQI+ asylum claims are one of the most rigid frameworks, however, for bisexuals that may be even harder. Sofia D'Arcio explores why and also the current challenges that bisexual asylum claimants face in the Netherlands.