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22 February 2023

Queerness and Migration

Who Is Welcome Event Series. 9 March 2023, Online.

On 9 March 2023, we explored the interconnections between queerness and migration, including the experiences of queer migrants and queer POC.

Queerness and Migration: About this event

At the Migrants’ Rights Network, we look at migration and displacement through an intersectional lens. We analyse and raise awareness of how identity impacts policy decisions towards specific groups.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Europe’s subsequent treatment of Ukrainian refugees in comparison to Afghan, Syrian or Sudanese raised questions about who is welcome in Europe and the UK. As part of our ongoing Who is Welcome event series, we want to examine specifically how border regimes impact queer people seeking safety or a better life.

We discussed the unique barriers in the immigration system for queer people whilst also countering narratives of homonationalism. People from certain countries or certain religions are characterised by the media or politicians as homophobic. LGBTQ+ rights are used as a way to exclude or alienate certain groups of migrants. But migratised and racialised communities have always been at the forefront of queer resistance to oppression.


Julia Tinsley-Kent– Policy and Strategic Comms Manager at Migrants’ Rights Network + member of Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants


Benali Hamdache– The Green Party Migrant & Refugee Support Spokesperson + Highbury Councillor for Islington Council

Anastasia Gavalas– Comms Officer at Migrants’ Rights Network


Further Reading

For further reading, please see below:

  1. Cypriot queerness beyond sexuality by Anastasia Gavalas (February 2023)
  2. Homophobia is the British Empire’s most successful export by a member of the MRN community (February 2023)
  3. Britain is an expert in homonationalistic ideology by Julia Tinsley-Kent (March 2023)

Authors (and theories) mentioned during the event include:

  • Jose Esteban Munoz (book: Cruising Utopia: The Then And There of Queer Futurity)
  • Achille Mbembe (Necropolitics)
  • Jasbir Puar (Homonationalism, Queer Necropolitics)
  • Sima Shaksari (The Politics of Rightful Killing)
  • Elijah Edelman (Homonecronationalism)