Queer Credibility in the Homonation-State: Interrogating the Affective Impacts of Credibility Assessments on Racialized Sexual Minority Refugee Claimants

  • Jen Rinaldi University of Ontario Institute of Technology
  • Shanti Fernando University of Ontario Institute of Technology
Keywords: sexual identity, refugee, credibility, racizalization

Abstract

Abstract
This article critically appraises Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board decision-making that imposes burdens on diverse sexual orientation and gender identity and expression refugee claimants of colour to prove that they are queer according to homonationalist interpretations of queerness. This article examines decisions clustered around historical developments in the reception of racialized sexual minorities, including Canada (AG) v Ward, which made sexual minority refugee claims possible; Bill C-31, the immigration and refugee policy motivated by national security interests in the post-9/11 era; and 2017 guidelines designed to dispel misunderstandings about refugee claimants’ sexuality. Across this history, credibility assessments of refugee claims have undergone significant recalibrations, yet continue to reflect homonationalist values.

 

 

Résumé
Cet article évalue de façon critique la manière dont le processus de décision de la Commission de l’immigration et du statut de réfugié du Canada impose aux demandeurs d’asile d’orientations sexuelles et d’identités ou d’expressions de genre diverses le fardeau de prouver qu’ils sont queer en vertu d’interprétations homonationalistes. L’article examine des décisions regroupées autour de développements historiques dans la réception des minorités sexuelles racialisées, dont Canada (Procureur général) c. Ward, qui a rendu possible les demandes d’asile sur la base de l’appartenance à une minorité sexuelle; le Projet de loi C-31, politique d’immigration et d’asile motivée par des intérêts de sécurité nationale dans l’ère post-11-septembre; et les directives de 2017 conçues pour dissiper les malentendus concernant la sexualité des demandeurs d’asile. Bien qu’ayant subi des ajustements importants à travers l’histoire, l’évaluation de la crédibilité des demandes d’asile continue de refléter des
valeurs homonationalistes.

Author Biographies

Jen Rinaldi, University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Dr. Jen Rinaldi is an Assistant Professor in the Legal Studies Program at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). She engages with narrative and arts-based methodologies to deconstruct eating disorder recovery in relation to queer community, and to explore and story traumatic histories of institutionalization.

Shanti Fernando, University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Dr. Shanti Fernando is an Associate Professor in the Political Science Program at UOIT whose work has explored racism, sexism, and sanism in historical and continuing exclusionary immigration policies and processes. She currently works on community development issues such as adult education for those with psychiatric disabilities, social service support policies, and anti-poverty policies.

Published
2019-06-03
How to Cite
Rinaldi, J., & Fernando, S. (2019). Queer Credibility in the Homonation-State: Interrogating the Affective Impacts of Credibility Assessments on Racialized Sexual Minority Refugee Claimants. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 35(1), 32-42. Retrieved from https://refuge.journals.yorku.ca/index.php/refuge/article/view/40538