Akin, ‘Discursive Construction of Genuine LGBT Refugees’, 2018

Subject Area

Sexual Orientation/Sexuality
Gender Identity







Year Published



Deniz Akin, ‘Discursive Construction of Genuine LGBT Refugees’, Vol. 23 No. 3-4 (2018): Lamda Nordica – New nordic queer research


This article discusses the ways in which different discourses construct a genuine LGBT refugee subject in Norway. In doing so, it problematizes the notion of a predetermined/ahistorical/context-free LGBT refugee subject who can be discovered at the national borders as the true claimant of the refugee status. Benefiting from queer theory, the discussion revolves around the performative aspects of refugeeness, arguing that refugeeness is discursively constructed in a particular legal, political, and cultural context and that there is no genuine refugee prior to its recognition. The article also draws on the notion of precarity as a constitutive of the so-called genuine refugee subject, and discusses how precarity for sexual minorities has been constituted within the contemporary cultural politics of immigration and sexual politics in Norway. It concludes by arguing for the need for increasing attentiveness to the reproduction and circulation of discourses around issues such as deserving immigrants, precarity, worthy asylum seekers, healthy sexualities, and good citizens within the field of refugee policies and practices.

Keywords: LGBT asylum, Norway, precarity, queer, refugeeness