For Pride Month, Refugee Action collaborated with Micro Rainbow and Rainbow Migration to highlight the voices of LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and refugees.
Identifying as LGBTQ+ is criminalised in over 70 countries. In some countries just being yourself is punishable by death. People are subjected to violence and discrimination for simply being who they are from their own communities, families or government, leaving them at risk of abuse and discrimination. They seek safety in the UK believing that here they’ll live freely, be safe and protected.
The UK presents itself as having a proud reputation for LGBTQ+ rights. The inspiring struggles of movements and communities have secured laws protecting LGBTQ+ people and the legalisation of same-sex marriage. It’s no wonder that LGBTQ+ people would seek sanctuary here. That they would believe that this is a country where they might be free to be themselves and love who they want. Sadly, that’s not the case.
Once admitted into the UK asylum system, LGTBQ+ people often face further violence and discrimination. They’re frequently not believed, enforced to provide evidence that is hard to gather, placed in unsuitable accommodation, and forced to wait months and years for a decision on their asylum claims. As a result, they’re disproportionately impacted by policies that harm their mental and physical health.