Queer Refugees Support Hamburg
Who we are
»Queer Refugees Support Hamburg« is an open action group founded by queer people in Hamburg primarily to support queer refugees. Other queer immigrants – whether documented or not – are also welcome to contact us. We use “queer” to mean homosexual (lesbian, gay), bisexual, trans* or inter* people, in short, LGBTIQ* persons whose sexual orientation and/or gender identity doesn’t conform to heteronormative precepts.
This self-organised group met for the first time in September 2015. Its members include Caucasians and People of Color, varied passport-holders and cis- and transgendered individuals, although the majority of activists are white, cisgendered people with German passports. We are committed to opening the group to all queer people.
The need to support LGBTIQ* refugees emerges in a social context in which discrimination of LGBTIQ*s is a part of daily life. Queer refugees are further exposed and subjected to abuse and discrimination of many kinds, whether while fleeing, or on arrival, in their contact with public authorities or translators, as well as in daily life in the official shelters.
The central aim of Queer Refugees Support is to develop a network of LGBTIQ* refugees and immigrants to facilitate reciprocal support.
Another central aim is to facilitate refugees’ contact with information centres and professional assistance. If necessary, we can try to establish contact with translators and interpreters who are familiar with terms that describe queer experiences. In many languages, homo*, inter* and trans*sexuality is only spoken of in an offensive way and it is crucial that translators and interpreters working in refugee and asylum contexts be especially sensitive when speaking with or on behalf of queer refugees. This is particularly important since official recognition of asylum claims based on persecution related to sexual orientation in the country of origin will only be granted when the sexual orientation of the person affected is made explicit in the asylum procedure, translated accordingly and entered into the minutes, preferably right at the start.
We would like to contribute in various ways to significantly improve the lives of queer people, for those with documents or not, for refugees and immigrants, or for those who’ve always been here!