In early July, I was honoured to speak on a panel concerning Activism at the final conference of the SOGICA (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Claims of Asylum: A European human rights challenge) project.

Lockdown demanded that the conference was virtual, which meant that access and participation could be widened significantly – this fundamentally altered the conference in the best possible ways, removing many of the geographical and financial constraints that often prevent people impacted directly by asylum regimes from attending/ speaking at events. My co-panellists, from Germany and Australia, gave brilliantly incisive and insightful presentations, and our conversation fit well together. You can watch all three presentations below (start at the beginning to hear from all of us).

Paper abstract: LGBTQI+ asylum advocacy under “friendly” and “hostile” governments: lessons from the US
In this presentation, I trace the changing impacts –both intended and unexpected –of LGBTQI+ asylum advocacy in the United States under the Obama and Trump administrations. Critical reflection on the discourses produced and priorities pursued by advocates elsewhere can be instructive for their international counterparts, particularly where right-wing politicians are establishing power and supportive media attention to LGBTQI+ and immigrant rights is declining. These findings are based ethnographic fieldwork and work conducted with the advocacy organisation LGBT Freedom and Asylum Network, 2011-2018.

Other presentations in the panel:

The Right to Legal Assistance for LGBTIQ* Asylum Seekers in Germany & the Role of Volunteer Initiatives such as the Queer Refugee Law Clinic Berlin – Tina-Maleen Bölle

Queer Sisterhood Project: the value of refugee-led support and advocacy – Renee Dixson and Tina Dixson