Queer Identities in Conflict: Responses to and Experiences of Sexual Minority Refugees from Syria in Lebanon and Germany

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: CMII

Abstract

Sexual minority asylum seeking is often interpreted as a process of 'fleeing an oppressive, patriarchal and
heteronormative culture/religion, to a liberal, gender-equal and 'gay friendly' society' (Fiddian-Qasmiyeh 2016).
Through this logic, the sexual minority refugee is welcomed by a 'tolerant' host community, typically in Western
Europe or North America, where they are free to live out their lives as sexual-rights based subjects. Whilst this
assessment certainly reflects the increased legal rights sexual minority individuals have in the Global North, there is a
need to critically investigate and challenge the binary it generates vis-à-vis the North and South, and its effect on
diverse responses to and experiences of displacement on grounds of sexual and gender identity.

Publications

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Greatrick A (2019) "Coaching" Queer in Migration and Society

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000592/1 30/09/2017 29/09/2027
2099959 Studentship ES/P000592/1 23/09/2018 29/09/2022 Aydan Edward Greatrick
 
Description Refugee Services Knowledge Exchange Partnership 
Organisation Bristol Refugee Rights
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Sharing of research findings relating to the services and peer-to-peer support offered by the Bristol Refugee Rights "Pride without Borders" project. Relevant findings arising from the research will be written up into a report for BRR PwB, which will be used to inform organisational advocacy around LGBT+ asylum and inform their support offer.
Collaborator Contribution Bristol Refugee Rights "Pride without Borders" have offered assistance in the form of contacts with refugee service users, training and reflections in the form of interviews.
Impact None currently.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Research Advisory Panel 
Organisation The Centre for Transnational Development and Collaboration
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Insights rising from the research shared with CTDC as members of the project's advisory board. This has helped inform organisational work on gender and sexual rights advocacy and practice.
Collaborator Contribution CTDC Co-Directors Dr Nof Nasser-Eddin and Dr Nour Abu-Assab are acting as project advisors on the project advisory board. They have provided insights and reflections on emerging findings and support with contacts in the field, and will continue to provide such support through to the end of the project.
Impact N/A
Start Year 2018
 
Description Visiting Research Fellow 
Organisation University of Potsdam
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Participated in the Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung's seminar series during field work in Berlin allowing me to engage in a local research centre and knowledge exchange.
Collaborator Contribution ZZF offered advice on contacts in Berlin and supported facilitating interviews and engagement with state level actors.
Impact Participation in seminar series - cross disciplinary, covering sociology, history, politics, literature and international relations
Start Year 2020
 
Description Invited Panellist, Hornsey and Wood Green Labour "Stop the Hostile Environment" event 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Talked as part of a panel organised by the Hornsey and Wood Green Labour Party to challenge hostile immigration policies. Insights from my research relating to LGBT+ asylum was shared to help inform advocacy and campaigning strategies. The event was attended by local migrant and refugee-rights groups, local activists and politicians.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Invited panellist - "Queer Displacements Conference", Australian National University, Canberra, 14-15 Nov 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Gave a presentation titled "Unsettling LGBT Resettlement: Queer Vulnerability and the Politics of 'Deservingness' in Lebanon and Turkey" as part of the inaugural Queer Displacements Conference held at ANC, Canberra.

The purpose of my participation was to share insights from the preliminary research, and to engage with colleagues working on the topic of LGBT+ displacement around the world. Findings from my research contributed to a collectively written and signed letter presented to the UN during the Global Compact on Migration summit of 2019. Collaboration with LSVD and Queer Refugees Deutschland (who were represented at the event) also followed, including through discussions about the research and offers to help with access when research takes place in Germany.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Invited panellist at the "Decolonising Knowledge around Gender and Sexuality" conference, held at SOAS, 30 October 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Gave a presentation titled "Queer Humanitarianism, or Disciplined Identities? Examining Responses to Non-Normative Refugees from Syria in Lebanon and Turkey" at the CTDC Annual Conference held at SOAS.

The purpose was to share insights from the pilot research and to hear feedback from, and to engage with, colleagues from multiple disciplines working on gender, sexuality, migration and humanitarianism.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited panellist at the "Migration, Social Transformation and Differential Inclusion in Turkey" Conference, Sabanci University, 5-6 October 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Gave a presentation titled "Queering Humanitarianism? Examining the Roles Played by Turkish LGBTQ Organisations in Responding to Refugees from Syria" at the "Migration, Social Transformation and Differential Inclusion in Turkey" conference, held in Istanbul on the 5-6 October 2018. The conference was organised by the Sabanci University Istanbul Policy Centre.

The purpose of the activity was to share findings from the project's pilot study in Turkey, and to collaborate with local research centres in Turkey. Following the event, I was invited to submit my paper with colleagues as part of a special issue on responses to displacement in Turkey.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited speaker, Cambridge University International Health and Development student conference, 18 Feb 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Gave a talk on sexuality and asylum as part of a student-led conference at Cambridge, 18 Feb 2019.

The purpose was to share insights from the pilot research and to hear questions and feedback.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation on sexuality and wellbeing for LGBT+ asylum seekers, UCL Institute of Education seminar series 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Gave a presentation titled "Exploring the Intersections of Humanitarianism and Sexuality in Contexts of Protracted Displacement: Insights from Istanbul and Beirut" as part of a seminar series organised by the UCL Institute of Education's International Development centre.

The purpose was to share insights from the projects pilot study research and to hear thoughts on emerging findings and research questions from peers working in public health, wellbeing and international development.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Workshop Participant - "Peace and Cohesion through Identity", UCL Anthropology, 2-3 Feb 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Attended a workshop at UCL Anthropology on peace, cohesion and identity. I made contributions relating to sexuality and gender in contexts of conflict. The purpose of the event was to develop practitioner-relevant toolkits on addressing conflict and peace building through a focus on inclusion and identity. The event was an opportunity to collaborate with and engage with academics, practitioners and policy-makers from multiple disciplines.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Workshop participant - "Refugee Spaces (29 Jan) & Infrastructures of Care (1 Feb)", UCL Bartlett 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited attendee at a workshop on infrastructure and development in spaces where refugees live, including camps and urban areas.

The purpose of the activity was to share insights from my pilot research in Beirut and Istanbul, and to collaborate with colleagues across the two days.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019