Homosexuals are not just marginalized and fearful in their home countries. The fear and stigma is staying on with them in the Danish asylum system.
In Uganda, they want to make it a capital crime if you are a homosexual. In many other parts of the world, homosexuals are met with fear and hate. But what is the atmosphere in the Danish asylum centers with homosexuality? New Times has asked three gay and lesbian asylum seekers as well as three heterosexuals.
Homosexual asylum seekers’ view
First interviewee. She is 23 years old
I would like my names to be kept private for security reasons. I am a lesbian and an asylum seeker in Denmark in Sandholm. I have faced much homophobia. First of all, I have self-stigma from my home because I was not able to come out about my sexuality from my childhood up to now due to homosexuality being illegal in my country. I have had to keep quiet and I have no one to talk with. I even fear immigration officials. I do not know whether they care if I am a lesbian, but since I have experienced so much persecution and mob justice in my country, I am still fearful. I have never tried to join a gay network. I have no one to direct me. I feel limited because I cannot entirely open myself to the community I spend time with.
Second interviewee. She is 26 years old
I fear the decision makers in my case because I do not know their attitude towards me or homosexuals. I have a feeling that maybe they will be offended when they hear my story and I seem weird. I fear the people I live with because they are heterosexual and I am homosexual, especially because my roommate is straight and I fear that maybe one day she will know who I am. I am afraid of the police because I have faced persecution many times in my life. Whenever I meet an officer, all the tough situations I have dealt with run through my head and I become more crazy and depressed.
Third interviewee. He is 30 years old
As a gay man I fear the day police will come and take me back home because already I have received two negatives.
Heterosexual Asylum Seekers’ views
First interviewee. Name: Kamwesi.
I hear that homosexual people claim space in my country and I am disappointed, because being homosexual is evil. I have this attitude from back home where homosexuality is abnormal, but since they have freedom and its their right here in Denmark I have no problem with them here. But I cannot relate with these people.
I am an asylum seeker and am straight. I have no right to punish homosexuals, but I disagree with their fight for rights. Homosexuality is a curse.
I am an asylum seeker but I hate homosexuals. From my home country. I grew up hearing “man and woman” not “woman to woman” or “man to man”.
[message_box title=”LGBT Rights in Denmark” color=”green”]Denmark provides one of the highest degrees of liberty in the world for itshomosexual community. Same-sex sexual activity was legalized in 1933 and since 1977 the age of consent is equal at 15, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. Denmark was the first country in the world to grant legal recognition to same sex unions, in the form of “registered partnerships”, in 1989. On 7 June 2012, the law was replaced by a new same-sex marriage law, which came into effect on 15 June 2012.[/message_box]