The Intersectional Integration: Examining The Integration Experiences Of Middle Eastern LGBTQ+ Refugees In Canada And Service Providers Response
thesisposted on 23.05.2021, 09:46 authored by Yazan Alhajali
The intersectional identities of Middle Eastern LGBTQ+ (ME-LGBTQ+) refugees expose them to different forms of discrimination and persecution throughout the asylum experience, whether in their home countries, proxy countries or even in Canada, which results in increased difficulties and challenges in integration. By interviewing six ME-LGBTQ+ refugees and conducting a content analysis on 27 websites of refugee-serving organizations, this study explores how the intersectional identities of ME-LGBTQ+ refugees have shaped their integration, and examines the role of the services providers in response to their intersectional integration. The findings revealed that ME-LGBTQ+ refugees suffered intersectional forms of discrimination at the intersection of nationality with gender and sexuality, which resulted on aggravated mental stresses, in addition to gaps in access to services which ME-LGBTQ+ refugees mitigated through their personal solidarity networks. The content analysis revealed gaps in mental health service provision and representation of LGBTQ+ refugees coupled with a complex and overlapping structure of services that hindered the ability of ME-LGBTQ+ refugees to leverage these services. Recommendations include allocating more efforts to understanding the intersectional backgrounds of ME-LGBTQ+ refugees, providing tailored orientation and guidance services in their native language and creating LGBTQ+ friendly housing communities and safe spaces that would allow ME-LGBTQ+ refugees to socialize, express their identities and feel safe, and, therefore, facilitating their successful integration in Canada. Keywords LGBTQ+, Refugees, Immigrants, Canada, Toronto, Middle Eastern, Service providers, Resettlement organizations, Refugee organizations, intersectionality.