There is relative invisibility and silence around the presence, management and support of queer people in mainstream refugee organisations in the United Kingdom. Institutional silencing exists, particularly where visibility or acknowledgment has the potential to disrupt existing structures. At the same time, queer refugees face the risk of exclusion, and may also undertake self-censoring. Drawing on empirical data from an innovative, cross-disciplinary, community based participatory research project between a UK based refugee organisation and two universities, this article explores the viability, complexities and tensions inherent in making queer identities visible. While highlighting the potential of arts-based methods to explore inclusive approaches to sexuality, we discuss the limits of this work and the resistance it created. This article is co-authored by members of RX, a collective of young people with refugee backgrounds; two community researchers; an humanities researcher; and a peace studies researcher.
- LGBTQ youth
- young people
- arts-based method
- participatory action research
- community based research