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Millions of people move to a different country. For asylum seekers, this move is motivated by unsafe conditions. This can be because of persecution by the government. It can also be due to threats or persecution that the government won’t provide protection from.

Why would a trans person seek asylum?

Many countries criminalise homosexuality and trans identities. This makes it unsafe to live openly in those countries. 

In addition to this, studies show that LGBTI asylum seekers are disproportionately subject to violence by private citizens, family members, or government agents of their country of origin.

It is also clear that asylum procedures present unique challenges to LGBTI asylum seekers.

How does being trans affect the asylum process?

For trans asylum seekers, the asylum process is particularly difficult. Many trans asylum seekers are not out in their home countries. This means they start the asylum process without starting any sort of transition that they may want.

This presents several barriers. First of all, reception staff may struggle to perceive or understand their gender identity. This can lead to asylum claims being wrongfully rejected.

For trans people who are out, reception centres can be unsafe spaces. Trans asylum seekers may be subject to more violence in initial housing. 

Finally, not all countries allow asylum seekers and refugees to legally change their gender marker or name. Or, if they can, it may be a harder and longer process. This means that they are misgendered and deadnamed throughout their asylum journey.

What does TGEU do?

TGEU works to make sure that LGBTI asylum seekers are met with conditions that are safe and provide them equal access to claim asylum.

To do this, we work to make sure that receiving agents are trained with LGBTI-inclusive knowledge. This also means that they must create a space that is safe for asylum seekers to open up about their identity.

We are also advocating to have countries that criminalise homosexuality and trans identities taken off lists of safe countries. This means that people may make asylum claims from these countries.

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A trans woman smiles over her shoulder holding up the peace sign.

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