“You look so gay”: social perception and hindrances in SOGI asylum seekers’ process of evaluation.

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Calzati, Fabio
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The thesis will take in analysis the case of LGBTQI+ asylum seekers procedure. Because of the several problematics which have been arisen for this specific category during the last decades, this paper aims to answer to what extent is possible to reorient the LGBTQI+ refugees evaluation procedure on the basis of the perception of these subjects within the countries they are fleeing. Indeed, the perception perspective is important because, as stated by Kobelinsky, “Claiming homosexuality became the key element in granting asylum. The applicant must have been publicly seen and acknowledged as homosexual in their own country. […]This was mirrored by the fact that refugee status was granted to applicants who had manifested and claimed their sexual orientation”1. Nevertheless, in the search of proofs for guaranteeing the authenticity of asylum seeking based on the sexuality, the process of evaluation presents several problems on the international level. Besides the difficulty on assessing the authenticity of someone’s sexuality, the process of assessing is also dominated by a western/heteronormative perspective which often does not keep in consideration the anthropological variants which might prevent asylum seekers in identifying in the western conception of homosexual. Hence, this thesis aims to investigate to what extent and how it would be possible that the mere perception of certain individuals as belonging to the LGBTQI+ community might be sufficient in the process of asylum seeking. How this might apply concretely? How this interrelate with the other categories of refugees? The approach used in the dissertation will be interdisciplinary, with both anthropological and legal focus.
Second semester University: Université Libre de Bruxelles
asylum seekers, homosexuality, transgender, gender identity, sexual orientation