In April of 2018, Brett Hatfield, a Refugee Health Nurse working with the NSW Refugee Health Service, spoke at the Health in Difference conference regarding the overwhelming lack of support for sexual and gender diverse people seeking asylum in Australia. LGBTI migrants, including asylum-seekers, refugees, stateless persons, and internally displaced persons face a complex array of challenges in their countries of origin and countries of migration or asylum, as well as throughout all stages of the displacement cycle. Faced with a dual vulnerability of being both LGBTI and refugees, they experience not only the cumulative sum of homophobia/transphobia and xenophobia/racism but also the exponential marginalisation associated with each group.
Australia has consistently ranked as one of the top three resettlement countries in the world, but services directed towards supporting LGBTI people from a refugee background through a trauma-informed and culturally tailored approach are overwhelmingly absent. Brett’s presentation at the Health in Difference conference was shared with Kamalika Dasgupta, an inspirational same-sex attracted refugee from India who co-founded a non-profit organisation called “SheQu”, with the mission to help and support Queer Women from culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds.