Raise the Rainbow Flag during Refugee Week Scotland 2014

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Join us in celebrating the rights of LGBT asylum seekers and refugees at some amazing events

Blog by Ekaterina Leondivea, RWSG Volunteer

When LGBT asylum seekers arrive in the UK, fleeing persecution, they are to go through yet another series of challenges to their identity in the form of interrogations by immigration officials.

A leaked Home Office document recently drew attention to the intimidating questions being asked during screening interviews. A lot of these questions tend to focus on intimate details of the applicant’s sexual life, rather than on verifying that in their home country they face danger of persecution.

The sad irony of most LGBT cases is that such applicants have fled a hostile environment to enter what is often another hostile and homophobic system that deems them guilty of dishonesty from the beginning of the process. The humiliating procedure has led to asylum seekers suffering from mental health problems by going to extreme lengths to prove what they have had to keep a secret within their societies.

We celebrate!

At Scottish Refugee Council we aim to not only celebrate the inclusion of LGBT asylum seekers and refugees of all backgrounds into Scottish society, but also to raise awareness of the issues affecting them through the process. We welcome everyone to come have fun with us, but also to reflect on the touching personal stories disclosed in the artworks and performances during Refugee Week Scotland.

In the spirit of celebrating diversity and human rights Refugee Week Scotland 2014 will host a couple of events under the Rainbow Flag:

The festivities are kicking off on Friday 13 June with ‘This is Glasgow’, an exhibition presenting the creative exploration of LGBT identity, migration and prejudice through photography and dance from 3pm.

Next on the programme is ‘Love Club’ on Tuesday 17 June – an interactive performance through which director Drew Taylor explores the realities of living as a LGBT asylum seeker in Glasgow.

Last, but not least LGBT Unity will present us with a traditional Scottish celebration with an international flavour – ‘Gaylidh’ on Friday 27 June, representing multiculturalism and diversity in modern Scottish society.

Everyone is welcome to become part of these celebrations, to experience the lively atmosphere and express their support for LGBT asylum seekers, who often face specific difficulties through the asylum process. Scottish Refugee Council, alongside many other organizations focusing on refugee or LGBT rights, have been working with LGBT refugee communities and policy makers in order to develop a fairer and more sensitive asylum system.

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