Real Queer? Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Refugees in the Canadian Refugee Apparatus
by David A.B. Murray
Publisher: Rowman and Littlefield International
Publication Date: December 2015
“How do I prove I’m gay?” This is the central question for many refugee claimants who are claiming asylum on the basis of sexual orientation persecution. But what are the inherent challenges in obtaining this proof? How is the system that assesses asylum claims predicated upon homonormative frameworks and nervous borders? What is the impact of gender, race and class? What is an ‘authentic’ sexual or gender identity and how can it be performed?Real Queer? is an ethnographic examination of the Canadian refugee apparatus analysing the social, cultural, political and affective dimensions of a legal and bureaucratic process predicated on separating the ‘authentic’ from the ‘bogus’ LGBT refugee. Through interviews, conversations and participant observation with various participants ranging from refugee claimants to their lawyers, Refugee Protection Division staff and local support group workers, it reveals the ways in which sexuality simultaneously disrupts and is folded into the nation-state’s dynamic modes of gate-keeping, citizenship and identity-making, and the uneven effects of these discourses and practices on this category of transnational migrants.