The migration crisis concerns all of us at different scales. Sympraxi, who works on gender issues, organized an event on the 25 January here in Thessaloniki to gather people affected by this topic and talk about it.
A documentary was screened to illustrate this theme and also involve an unknown topic in the migration crisis: The situation of LGBTQ+ migrants.
Rainbow Migrants by Manfred Kott is a report following life after the slog undertaken by three LGBTQ+ asylum seekers. Diaks, Maxime and Rokhaya left their country because of the poverty and terrible living conditions and the persecution they faced from their community due to their sexual orientation. We follow them through the struggle to find a place to live as African migrants in France and their personal experiences as homosexuals in their countries. This documentary shows these people’s extra traumatism and the reality of this unknown topic in their struggles seeking asylum.
Indeed, checking asylum applications is way more complicated for LGBTQ+ because of the requirement to prove their sexual orientation and identity by answering discriminatory questions. The interviews are done in a way so we can enter each protagonist’s life. “When and how did you become aware of your sexual identity?”, “What sexual practices do you engage in during your special moments?”, “Have you ever experienced sexual satisfaction from the other sex?” Also, other dubious practices are used to “find out” proof of sexual orientation to investigate whether there is a “well-founded and justified fear of persecution.”
Discussion and awarness
The screening gave the basis of a discussion. Then, starting with the speech of professionals on social issues, we continued forming groups to discuss what each of us at our level could do to help the situation. Coming from France and having a different perception of the problem, it was interesting to compare each vision and position between Greece and my country.