Negotiating space for queer-identifying young people in a refugee organization: viability, complexities and tensions

Churnjeet Mahn, EJ Milne, Mayra Guzman, Farhio Ahmed, Anonymous Members of RX

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    Abstract

    There is relative invisibility and silence around the presence, management and support of queer people in mainstream refugee organizations in the United Kingdom. Institutional silencing exists, particularly where visibility or acknowledgement has the potential to disrupt existing structures. At the same time, queer refugees face the risk of exclusion, and may also undertake self-censoring. Drawing on empirical data from an innovative, cross-disciplinary, community-based participatory research project between a United Kingdom-based refugee organization and two universities, this article explores the viability, complexities and tensions inherent in making queer identities visible. While highlighting the potential of arts-based methods to explore inclusive approaches to sexuality, we discuss the limits of this work and the resistance it created. This article is co-authored by members of RX—a collective of young people with refugee backgrounds; two community researchers; a humanities researcher; and a peace-studies researcher.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1477–1493
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of Refugee Studies
    Volume34
    Issue number2
    Early online date17 Dec 2019
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

    Bibliographical note

    This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Refugee Studies following peer review. The version of record Mahn, C, Milne, EJ, Guzman, M, Ahmed, F & Anonymous Members of RX 2021, 'Negotiating space for queer-identifying young people in a refugee organization: viability, complexities and tensions ', Journal of Refugee Studies, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 1477–1493 is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1093/jrs/fez101

    Funder

    AHRC

    Keywords

    • lesbian
    • gay
    • bisexual
    • queer (LGBTQ)
    • refugees
    • young people
    • arts-based methods
    • Participatory Action Research
    • community-based research

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Sciences(all)
    • Arts and Humanities(all)

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