Difficulties of LGBTQIA+ in the asylum procedure
There are various reasons why LGBTQIA+ people face barriers in expressing their cases. Because of criminalisation or stigmatisation in their home countries, many people never had the opportunity to explore their identity in the past. This can lead to a hidden identity and personal feelings of shame.
LGBTQIA+ asylum seekers are often survivors of sexual and gender-based violence and/or torture, for example in the form of ‘corrective rape’. These experiences can cause traumas related to the identity.
Hidden identities or traumatic feelings about the identity can hinder the asylum applicants in articulating their claim. But since there is also often a lack of external evidence, the asylum interview will put an even greater emphasis on the applicant’s testimony. According to that, applicants have to face very personal and intrusive questions which can cause re-traumatisation and feelings of marginalisation.
There is a legal framework that sets limits to the admissible questions in an asylum interview. For example, questions about sexual practices and requests of intimate evidence are prohibited. Also, LGBTQIA+ asylum seekers cannot be expected to return to their home country and hide their identity to avoid persecution.