Fund LGBTIQ refugees to attend Queer Displacements conference

By Tina Dixson

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A story of asylum is expert knowledge.

LGBTIQ people seeking asylum and people from refugee backgrounds are the best experts to identify the issues and solutions needed to ensure justice, inclusivity, and equality for all.

Be the one who enables the participation of LGBTIQ refugees in the inaugural conference exclusively dedicated to the issues of LGBTIQ forced displacement.

Queer Displacements: Sexuality, Migration and Exile is a two-day conference that aims to bring together academics, practitioners and LGBTIQ+ people seeking asylum and refugees to discuss pertinent issues of queer forced displacement and foster dialogue between official and unofficial groups invested in research and practice for coordinated solutions and better support of affected populations.

This conference is unique as it is organised by LGBTIQ people with lived experience of seeking asylum and it will champion the voices of other LGBTIQ people from refugee backgrounds by enabling their participation through a scholarship program as well as through running a dedicated community dialogue to ensure the centrality of their voices.

Why are we holding this conference?

Questions of sexuality and refugee or migration status remain on the margins of queer and refugee movements, policy and support services. There has been no dedicated conference to discuss these issues and identify solutions.

Needs of LGBTIQ people seeking asylum and people from refugee backgrounds are not addressed. For example, there were recorded cases when interpreters were not provided, when queer people were placed in temporary accomodation where they were bullied by other tenants and the service provider failed to resolve the situation.

Meeting the needs of people holistically and inclusively of all layers of their identity must be a priority. The research should also start from the premises of marginalised experience and always disaggregate by sexuality and gender identity.

This conference is an opportunity for the LGBTIQ and refugee communities as well as diverse NGOs to take stock and ensure that no one is left behind.


Why scholarships?

We are raising money to cover travel and accommodation costs to bring between 15 and 20 LGBTIQ people who’ve experienced forced displacement to Canberra to participate in the conference. We will ensure the diversity of voices from the LGBTIQ refugee communities prioritising our differences.

We have planned to hold a community dialogue on the second day of the conference. This will be a dedicated space to space for the representatives of the LGBTIQ refugee community to share the issues and challenges in their own words and for other attendees to reflect on how we can all coordinate our responses that will bring sustainable solutions.

It is time for all sectors, advocates, policy makers and researchers to come together to champion the voices of queer people from refugee backgrounds and make sustainable and real changes in their lives.

Questions of sexuality and gender identity in forced displacement have been ignored for too long. Today we are changing that by foregrounding this lived experience as expert knowledge. Are you with us?

Conference details:

Queer Displacements: Sexuality, Migration and Exile

14-15 November 2019

The Australian National University, Canberra

This conference has been supported by the Humanities Research Centre at the ANU.

For more details including the call for abstracts that are open now visit http://hrc.cass.anu.edu.au/events/queer-displacements-sexuality-migration-exile

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Team Members

Tina Dixson

Renee Dixson

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