“I think, ‘I will never be like them. Never.’ Though I can live here, I can work here, have a house here, but my mind is not like theirs. Because we all come here with a little war inside and it never stops.” Elvira Brodskaya and her wife fled persecution in Russia and settled in New York. But even in the U.S., they can’t escape all the fears of their past.
“By ignoring the complexities of coming out both those who identify as bisexuals and lesbians with mixed dating histories like Ms. Apata are seen as demonstrating the idea that people can choose their identities with relative ease, and therefore the threat they face is technically self-inflicted.”
The UK Home Office has a questionable track record when it comes to LGB asylum seekers, and for bisexual asylum seekers, narratives of “proving” sexuality or being “gay enough” can be deadly.
The UK Border Agency has detained Ugandan asylum seeker Jacqueline Nantumbwe, placing her at risk of abuse and deportation unless she can “prove” she’s gay.
Last week’s ruling by the European Court of Justice is being hailed as a “landmark” change for LGB asylum seekers – that is, if you’re willing to overlook how asylum seekers in the EU are regularly detained, demonised and deported.