January 26, 2021 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Gay Man Denied Asylum in Austria for mot Acting Gay Enough

Do you know what the colors of the LGBTQ+ rainbow flag mean? How about your clothes? Are they gay enough? Are YOU gay enough?

Gay 18-year-old Afghan man named Navid seeking asylum in Austria was not. Authorities concluded that he did not act like a stereotypical gay man, citing his walk, behavior and clothing, according to a Vienna-based organization that helps refugees.

“Neither your walk, nor your behavior nor your clothing give the slightest indication that you could be gay,” the 100-page written decision stated.

The report also states that Navid has a history of gettin into fights with roommates. 

“You clearly have the potential to be aggressive, which would not be expected in a homosexual,” it stated.

In Afghanistan, same-sex relations are punishable by five to 15 years in prison under a law that bans all sex between individuals not married to each other. So often, member of the LGBTQ+ community stay hidden, such as the case for this man. While laws in places like Austria are much more gay-friendly, L.G.B.T. refugees often face challenges coming out, according to sources cited by the New York Times.

USA for UNHCR created the #RainbowRefugees program to get the word out about the struggles and persecution of LGBTQ+ refugees. See below for five facts on LGBTQ+ refugees and the issues they encounter. For more information, click HERE.

  1. Same-sex acts are criminalized in 77 countries.
  2. In five countries, the punishment is death.
  3. LGBTI people can also struggle to find acceptance with those closest to them —  their family. Sadly, many have no safe place to call home.
  4. LGBTI refugees face a heightened risk of harassment, arrest, kidnapping, torture, rape and even murder.
  5. While advocacy has helped create acceptance and improved rights for LGBTI people in some regions of the world, bigotry and hate is still the reality for millions.
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