LGBT refugees suffering double-discriminationby Paola Battista - 2013.12.10
A campaign to raise awareness of the double-discrimination facing homosexual and transgender immigrants has been launched. It shows two women and a man, their mouths covered with statements about LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex) asylum seekers that are most often typed into Google. For example, ‘gay refugees are not our problem’ or ‘lesbian refugees aren’t welcome’ but also ‘gay and lesbian refugees are not illegal’. The campaign was launched today by Oram International, to mark International Day of Human Rights. It highlights how LGBTI migrants are victims not just of xenophobia but also of homo- or transphobia. They find themselves isolated both in their country of birth, to which they can’t return, as well as in their chosen adoptive country, where, warns Oram, the local authorities themselves don’t know how – or don’t want – to provide assistance and protection. They are left helpless when refused health care, housing, work and legality. This turns them into people without a voice or a place, invisible and mute in the face of stereotypes and prejudices that persecute them. This is emphasised in the documentary ‘No place for me’, produced by the association, which records the true stories of men and women persecuted for their sexual orientation. The film is being shown in an effort to raise awareness in the receiving community.