“We just know who we are”: lesbian refugees in the Canadian immigration system
Dearham, Kaitlin (Kat)
MetadataShow full item record
This paper explores the experiences of lesbian refugee claimants in the Canadian immigration system. Lesbian women attempting to escape violence and persecution face specific challenges in the asylum seeking process, from navigating the patchwork settlement sector to being asked to demonstrate their sexual orientation to a representative of the Canadian state. Through the use of in-depth interview with lesbian refugees, this paper documents lesbians’ experiences with the refugee claim process from landing to post-hearing. In it, the author argues that while lesbian refugee claimants experience marginalization based on the intersection of several marginalized identities, they assert self-determination and resistance throughout the process. Claimants must interact with discourses of homonationalism, homonormativity, and authenticity, which serve as gatekeeping mechanisms for the settler state.