TRIGGER WARNING: VIOLENT HOMOPHOBIA, XENOPHOBIA, PROBABLY RACISM
That’s what you have to do if you’re seeking asylum in the UK. Perhaps your family and your partner of 20 years have been killed. Perhaps you’re sentenced to stoning in your country of origin. Perhaps you jump through the necessary hoops and produce private, personal photographs and even a video of your sexual activities.
Is that good enough? Have you proven you’re a lesbian yet?
Apparently not to the government prosecutors of the UK.
Maybe you foolishly took measures to try and save your own life in Nigeria–tried to live undercover, married a man, even had kids (I mean, everybody knows lesbians can’t have kids, right? And real lesbians have never dated a man ever in their lives. Hey, maybe if you just explained you were bisexual, that sentence of stoning would be commuted!). Maybe you made the, um, “mistake” of “looking feminine” in Nigeria, either because you were femme or because you didn’t want to be killed. (Everybody knows lesbians never look feminine, right?)
A judge is ruling on Aderonke Apata’s case in weeks.
In my opinion, this is about the intersection of misogyny, homophobia, heterosexism (ever had a penis in your vagina? that penis is so powerful that it makes you straight no matter what else you’ve experienced.), anti-immigration sentiment, and yes, racism. It’s about the devaluing of a woman’s life, the dismissal of her trauma and of her identity because her lesbian experience doesn’t conform to some prosecutorial ideal, because she’s black, and because she’s an immigrant. Apata’s lesbianism is on trial, and 10 bucks says it’s not other lesbians who are ruling on it. (That wouldn’t make it OK, but there’s something particularly grotesque about a bunch of straight people sitting around passing judgment on whether or not somebody is a “real” lesbian and deciding that she doesn’t measure up to their bigoted white-centered stereotypes.)
Asylum for Aderonke Facebook page.
UK taxes are paying for these insults, just as my taxes go to the right-wing’s faith-based initiatives here in the US and the racist war on drugs and suchlike. And yet forced-birthers whine that they shouldn’t have to fund abortion because they “morally object” to it. Well, I morally object to any number of things in my own country, and what the UK is doing to Apata.