Deniz Akin, ‘Queer asylum seekers: translating sexuality in Norway’, in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 2017, 3, 458-474
This paper focuses on the burden of proof that queer asylum seekers encounter in Norway and how they tackle it. It is argued that queer asylum seekers translate their sexuality, sometimes strategically, to become readable in the Norwegian context. The act of translation appears to take the form of a ‘rainbow splash’ over the lives of the informants. The recurrence of similar narratives painted with similar colours contributes to a monolithic portrayal of sexualised and racialised asylum seekers, as they are unable to incorporate their own vocabularies during the act of translation. As a result, queer informants contribute to the (re)production of new norms about what it means to be a genuine queer person in need of protection. Therefore, genuineness remains an unattainable ideal for individuals seeking to negotiate their sexuality before, during and after the asylum seeking process.
Kaywords: Queer, Asylum, Norway, sexuality, migration