In refugee status assessment, the process of proving the 'truth' of one's sexual orientation (and proving that one will be persecuted on account of this) is often infected by the cultural biases of individual decision-makers. Assessors may, for example, expect self-identifying homosexual or bisexual asylum seekers to act in a particular manner (conforming to Western assumptions about sexual behaviour or identity), or expect an unreasonable degree of detail and consistency with regard to asylum seekers' experiences in their countries of origin. Alternately, assessors may conflate various forms of sexual identity (such as homosexuality and transgender status, or different forms of sexual expression from other cultures) under the blanket label of 'LGBT' or 'LGBTQ' (and assess risks accordingly).

Custom Citation

Douglas McDonald, 'Freedom to Be: Assessing the Claims of LGBTQ Asylum Seekers' (2014) 10(20 Socio-Legal Review 35.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)