Queer, Iranian and in exile: Comparing the experiences of Iranian queer refugees living in Turkey, the UK and Canada

GenSeM Migration dialogue

You are warmly invited to the next seminar organised by the Ethnicity, Race and Diverse Societies Network at Sussex & GenSeM IMISCOE on 26 April, 3pm, UK time (online and in person, AH 106, Falmer, Sussex University).

Queer, Iranian and in exile: Comparing the experiences of Iranian queer refugees living in Turkey, the UK and Canada 


In this presentation, we discuss some provisional findings of the ESRC-funded project ‘Negotiating Queer Identities Following Forced Migration’ (NQIfFM, https://iranqueerefugee.net/). NQIfFM is a project that explores the experiences of people who have left Iran to escape persecution or discrimination on grounds of their sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI). Building on a mixed-methods approach - including semi-structured interviews and poetry workshops with refugees and other stakeholders - we are investigating the processes of identity transition of Iranian diasporic queers seeking international protection in countries generally seen as being of transition, destination or resettlement. We are carrying out this empirical work and data analysis against the background of literature on postcolonial sexual identities, life histories of exile, and trauma-based cultural politics. In particular, we explore the hypothesis that rigid Western categories of LGBTQ+ are imposed by immigration structures (immigration offices, UNHCR, UK Home Office, NGOs) on those seeking asylum, to show how migrant subjects may be misrecognised, retraumatised, or silenced by the constraints of such classification. Besides presenting the project's aims and methodology, we will discuss our theoretical framework and a selection of themes emerging from our data analysis so far.


Moira Dustin, Lecturer in Law, University of Sussex

Nuno Ferreira, Professor of Law, University of Sussex

Kamran Matin, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, University of Sussex

Mehran Rezaei Toroghi, Research Fellow in Law, University of Sussex


Sarah Scuzzarello, Senior Lecturer in Geography, University of Sussex


Laura Morosanu, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University of Sussex

The event, free of charge, will be held online, on Zoom, and in person (AH 106, Falmer Campus, University of Sussex). The meeting details will be sent to registered attendees the day before the event. Please register here Queer, Iranian and in exile Tickets, Wed 26 Apr 2023 at 15:00 | Eventbrite

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