“Coaching” Queer

Hospitality and the Categorical Imperative of LGBTQ Asylum Seeking in Lebanon and Turkey

in Migration and Society
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Abstract

This article argues that Northern responses to, and recognition of, LGBTQ refugees bind queer organizations in Lebanon and Turkey, which support such refugees, in a state of contradiction. This contradiction is defined both by the failure of Northern LGBTQ rights discourses to account for Southern ways of being queer, but also by the categorical imperative of hospitality, which asks that the “right” refugee appears in line with the moral, political, raced, and gendered assumptions of Northern host states. In recognizing this imperative, this article observes how queer organizations in Lebanon and Turkey navigate this contradiction by simultaneously “coaching” their beneficiaries on how to appear “credible” in line with Northern assumptions about sexual difference, while working to accommodate the alterity of those they support.

Contributor Notes

AYDAN GREATRICK is an ESRC-funded PhD student at UCL. His research is exploring the relationship between gender, sexuality, and responses to refugees in the Middle East and Europe. Aydan is also the project and communications coordinator for the “Refugee Hosts” (www.refugeehosts.org) research project investigating local community responses to displacement from Syria in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey, funded by the AHRC-ESRC. He has a BA (Hons) in history from the University of Cambridge and an MSc in global migration from UCL.

Migration and Society

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