Sarı, “I am myself”, 2023
Elif Sarı, ‘“I am myself”: Queer Refugee Narratives’, in Lê Espiritu Gandhi, E., & Nguyen, V. (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Refugee Narratives (1st ed.), Routledge, 2023, pp. 179-190
This chapter tells stories of queerness and refugeeness and offers a queer(ing) perspective on writing with and about refugees. Asylum system introduces various barriers to refugees’ mobility, freedom, and safety and, in doing so, prevents them from realizing their desire to be themselves. Queer refugee narratives presented in this chapter expose this oppressive system. They demonstrate that refugees constantly navigate structural constraints and resist normative gender/sexuality regimes to live their lives in a way that feels true to their sense of self. In doing so, queer refugee narratives make three interventions: they 1) disrupt hegemonic representations of asylum as a journey from oppression to liberation; 2) unsettle hegemonic victimhood narratives that portray refugees as passive and weak subjects; and 3) complicate simplistic and binary understandings of gender/sexuality.