UBC Graduate Research

Claiming Gay: Exploring the Refugee Determination Process Walters, C. R.


Approximately 80 countries criminalize same-sex sexual acts or behaviour that is considered deviant; seven of these countries maintain a death penalty (BBC, 2014). People impacted by criminalization and persecution are therefore seeking asylum overseas. Canada, a humanitarian beacon of hope for many, accepts refugees on the basis of sexual orientation and over the years there has been an influx of sexual minority refugees and refugee claimants. However, before Canada accepts the claimants they must build evidence and plea their cases to the Immigration and Refugee Board. This is known as the refugee status determination process. How the refugee claimant experiences this determination process, particularly around the need to prove one’s gay identity, is the foundational aspect of this qualitative, phenomenological study and is presented in this paper through several themes that arose through participant interviews.

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International