• Johanna Katariina Poutanen
4. semester, Kultur, kommunikation og globalisering, kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
This thesis explores responses to bisexuality in the Danish asylum system. Asylum provides international protection for those who are fleeing prosecution in their home country, which extends to facing prosecution for sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). Refugee studies globally have indicated various problems within the asylum process, especially regarding LGBTQ+ applicants’ credibility process, and how binary Western norms on gender and sexuality are imposed to asylum seekers from the South. Therefore, especially people with fluid sexualities experience problems claiming their credibility when seeking asylum. A raising concern, yet little explored, is that bisexual asylum seekers are found less likely to receive state protection in comparison to e.g. gay men and lesbians. This study aims to be the first paper to explore the situation of bisexual asylum seekers in Denmark. By analyzing a dataset of 29 asylum decisions of the Danish Refugee Appeals Board (RAB), I will address the challenges of bisexual asylum seekers, especially when it comes to claiming credibility in regards of bisexual identity. Specifically, I am interested in interpreting and explaining the ways in which the societal and institutional discourses on bisexuality contribute to erasing bisexuality as valid sexual orientation, and how these discourses affect bisexual asylum seekers. As a result, the Danish Refugee Appeals Board’s responses to bisexuality raise a concern. My findings indicate that bisexual asylum seekers face significant challenges in communicating their stories and claiming their sexual identity in Denmark. Furthermore, troubling views on sexual binaries appeared while assessing the sexual identities of the refugee applicants. I argue that the recognition of bisexual identity, would actually expose the arbitrary decision making of the asylum officials when it comes to LGBTQ+ claims. The findings of this study address the need for urgent intersectional improvements regarding LGBTQ+ asylum applications, and the need to recognize bisexuality as a valid sexual orientation.
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