Fund LGBTIQ refugees to attend Queer Displacements conference

A story of asylum is expert knowledge.

LGBTIQ people seeking asylum and people from refugee backgrounds are the best experts to identify the issues and solutions needed to ensure justice, inclusivity, and equality for all. 

Be the one who enables the participation of LGBTIQ refugees in the inaugural conference exclusively dedicated to the issues of LGBTIQ forced displacement. 

Queer Displacements: Sexuality, Migration and Exile is a two-day conference that aims to bring together academics, practitioners and LGBTIQ+ people seeking asylum and refugees to discuss pertinent issues of queer forced displacement and foster dialogue between official and unofficial groups invested in research and practice for coordinated solutions and better support of affected populations.

This conference is unique as it is organised by LGBTIQ people with lived experience of seeking asylum and it will champion the voices of other LGBTIQ people from refugee backgrounds by enabling their participation through a scholarship program as well as through running a dedicated community dialogue to ensure the centrality of their voices.

Why are we holding this conference? 

Questions of sexuality and refugee or migration status remain on the margins of queer and refugee movements, policy and support services. There has been no dedicated conference to discuss these issues and identify solutions. 

Needs of LGBTIQ people seeking asylum and people from refugee backgrounds are not addressed. For example, there were recorded cases when interpreters were not provided, when queer people were placed in temporary accomodation where they were bullied by other tenants and the service provider failed to resolve the situation. 

Meeting the needs of people holistically and inclusively of all layers of their identity must be a priority. The research should also start from the premises of marginalised experience and always disaggregate by sexuality and gender identity.

This conference is an opportunity for the LGBTIQ and refugee communities as well as diverse NGOs to take stock and ensure that no one is left behind.

Why scholarships? 

We are raising money to cover travel and accommodation costs to bring between 15 and 20 LGBTIQ people who’ve experienced forced displacement to Canberra to participate in the conference. We will ensure the diversity of voices from the LGBTIQ refugee communities prioritising our differences. 

We have planned to hold a community dialogue on the second day of the conference. This will be a dedicated space to space for the representatives of the LGBTIQ refugee community to share the issues and challenges in their own words and for other attendees to reflect on how we can all coordinate our responses that will bring sustainable solutions.

It is time for all sectors, advocates, policy makers and researchers to come together to champion the voices of queer people from refugee backgrounds and make sustainable and real changes in their lives. 

Questions of sexuality and gender identity in forced displacement have been ignored for too long. Today we are changing that by foregrounding this lived experience as expert knowledge. Are you with us?

To enable the participation of LGBTIQ people from refugee backgrounds to attend the Queer Displacements Conference, please donate here: https://chuffed.org/project/queer-displacements

Queer Displacements: Sexuality, Migration and Exile

The first of its kind Australian conference solely dedicated to the issues of LGBTIQ refugees.

14-15 November 2019

The Australian National University, Canberra Australia

Questions of sexuality and refugee or migration status remain on the margins of queer and refugee movements, policy and support services.

The first of its kind in Australia, this conference aims to bring together academics, practitioners and LGBTIQ+ people seeking asylum and refugees to discuss pertinent issues of queer forced displacement and foster dialogue between official and unofficial groups invested in research and practice for coordinated solutions and better support of affected populations.

Call for papers

We invite proposals for papers and panels that will respond in diverse and interdisciplinary ways to the questions of an intersection of sexuality with a refugee status, including situations when queer people fall through the cracks of common refugee or migration pathways.

Queer people with the lived experience of seeking asylum are especially encouraged to apply.

Proposed papers may respond to the following topics or identify other areas to address:

  • Queer forced displacement and the law; 
  • Policy, advocacy and activism;
  • Health, sexuality and forced displacement;
  • Social welfare and wellbeing;
  • Identities, communities and questions of belonging;
  • Art, history and heritage;
  • Intersectionality;
  • Trauma and testimony.

For more details, download a detailed call for papers here.

Deadline for proposals is 1 September 2019. 

Please send proposals – including a title, 250-word abstract, and 100 word author biography – to Renee Dixson at renee.dixson@anu.edu.au

Proposals will be reviewed and applicants will be informed of the outcome within two weeks of the submission deadline so that we can finalise the program.

For more information visit http://bit.ly/QueerDisplacements or download the conference flyer here.

About the Queer Sisterhood

Queer Sisterhood Project is a peer-run support and advocacy group aimed to provide a space of community and belonging to queer refugee women.

The group is open to all women (based on the self-identification) who are identifying as queer (homosexual, bisexual, lesbian, same-sex attracted, pansexual) and have sought asylum in Australia because of the persecution on the grounds of gender or sexuality. Women on different stages of the protection visa application, including those who were refugees in the past and are citizens now, are welcome.

The group is run by Tina and Renee Dixson in partnership with Twenty10. At present we meet in Sydney, but we are looking to expand.

We also have an online chat for women who live in different states and territories.

Watch the cartoon ‘Being Queer and Refugee’

if you are a queer woman who is seeking asylum in Australia, reach out.
If you are an ally, Join us as we are building a community where queer refugee women.
Donate to support this important work.

Download and share the project flyer.

For referrals and more information, send me an email.

Check out our current work here.
For media articles about queer sisterhood, visit this page.