Contemporary French Civilization

The “L” in the LGBTI “alphabet soup”: issues faced by lesbian asylum seekers and other non-Western lesbian exiles in France

Contemporary French Civilization (2015), 40, (2), 179–198.

Abstract

The recent emergence of a global LGBTI human rights model has had both positive and negative impacts. Among the positives has been the granting of asylum in Western countries based on persecution because of sexual orientation and gender identity. Among the negatives has been the imperative to assimilate to a “one-size-fits-all” model of “LGBTI-ness,” not only in terms of institutional stereotypes but also in terms of a culture of male dominance, which marginalizes lesbian asylum seekers. This article discusses these issues as they are present in France.

L’émergence récente d’un modèle global de droits LGBTI a eu des effets à la fois positifs et négatifs. Parmi les effets positifs: l’octroi par les pays occidentaux de l’asile politique à des personnes ayant subi une persécution en raison de leur orientation sexuelle ou identité de genre. Parmi les effets négatifs: la nécessité de s’identifier à un modèle unique et stéréotypé de « l’être LGBTI, » et ce non seulement en termes institutionnels mais aussi en termes d’une culture caractérisée par la domination masculine qui marginalise les demandeuses d’asile lesbiennes. Cet article discute de ces questions telles qu’elles se posent en France.

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Winter, Bronwyn