Can you imagine someone disbelieving your sexual orientation because you have never been in a relationship? Or because you don’t look LGBTQI+?
These are just some of the challenges that LGBTQI+ people seeking asylum face in the UK. And if the Nationality and Borders Bill is passed in Parliament this week, things will become even harder for them.
There are many reasons why proving sexual orientation or gender identity is already difficult. For instance:
- The sole evidence that many people have of their sexual orientation or gender identity is their own story
- Someone’s social and cultural background may affect how easily they can talk about their sexual orientation or gender identity
- Some women only become attracted to other women later in life and face being disbelieved on this basis, particularly if they have been in relationships with men in the past
What would you say if you had to prove your LGBTQI+ identity? Could you do it if your life depended on it?
We have seen people disbelieved for not having enough sexual partners, because of their haircuts, or because they didn’t go to gay clubs.
It’s difficult and humiliating for anyone fleeing persecution to have to prove they are LGBTQI+, and the last thing we should do is make it harder. Writer and Human Rights activist, Philip Baldwin has kindly shared his thoughts:
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