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Racialized Risks, Queer Threats: Refugee Experiences of “Sanctuary” in the City of Toronto

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posted on 22.05.2021, 09:56 authored by Jobin Philip
There appears to be a gap in the literature that examines the intersectionality of identities for the refugee subject, especially for queer refugees. As well, there is a prevalence of heteronormative discourses throughout the literature. In all cases, homophobic violence is named but I will argue this is not the problem; it is merely a symptom of a broken system rooted in discourses of securitization and heteronormativity. Currently, migration to Canada is overseen by an increasingly over-securitized state which treats refugee claimants as threats to the nation. Concomitantly, the cultural adherence to traditional, white, heteronormative identities adds another dimension of risk for racialized, queer refugee subjects. This research study examines the experiences of resettlement for racialized and queer refugees in Toronto – a city that claims to be a sanctuary for such refugee claimants. The findings show that although queer refugees are generally safe from blatant and overt forms of violence post-migration, they still feel the need to resort to strategic methods of discretion, as it takes time to unlearn the fear and insecurity that exists as a result of experiencing trauma in the previous country. The interviews demonstrate that although some queer refugees may have to overcome internal and external challenges in their resettled lives, ultimately the action of migrating to Canada has opened up a multitude of promising possibilities.





Master of Arts


Immigration and Settlement Studies

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type