On the heels of news in which an Afghan teenager was refused asylum in Austria as he was “not gay enough” another asylum seeker has now been told he is too “girlish” to be believably gay.
The 27 year-old Iraqi man, well known as an active member in local LGBT+ groups, was refused by authorities who said his claim was “unbelievable”. The man had fled his home country in fear for his life but it was deemed he was too “stereotypical” to be actually gay. The report stated he displayed “excessive girlish behaviour”.
Austria has now amassed a number of incidents in which asylum seeker’s ‘gayness’ does not conform to an imaginary set of standard behaviours. Only last week a teenage boy was told “The way you walk, act or dress does not show even in the slightest that you could be homosexual.”
Refusing his application, the assessment continued he had a “potential for aggression,” which “wouldn’t be expected from a homosexual”. The official also had issues with the fact the teenager had few friends stating: “Aren’t homosexuals rather social?” The applicant told those questioning him that he became aware of his sexuality at the age of 12, but the official who rejected his claim said that this was “rather early”.
Mere days later, a gay Iranian man was also refused asylum in Austria as he did not know what all the colours on the rainbow flag represented.
GCN has begun a monthly series of interviews with LGBT+ asylum seekers detailing both their journeys and their experiences in direct provision in Ireland.
The Irish direct provision system has come under criticism for not being more protective of LGBT+ people. In many cases, gay asylum seekers are being housed alongside people from their original countries with the type of homophobic attitudes they were trying to escape in the first place.
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