Friends of a blind bisexual asylum seeker from Cameroon are accusing UK deportation officers of beating him up.
Alain Kouayep Tchatchue fled after the people in his town discovered he was having sex with another man. Fearing being beaten or killed, the French speaker came to the UK in order to live and love freely.
The Home Office rejected his claim of asylum and issued a deportation order last week. Last Saturday (5 April), it was claimed immigration staff took him to Heathrow airport around 4am. It is claimed Tchatchue protested, saying he had a legal right to be there, and two male members of staff allegedly punched his wrists and upper torso in an attempt to make him submit. The blind man was then bundled into the van and taken to the airport, his friends claim.
They say he shouted ‘I’m gay, I’m gay! I don’t want to go back to Cameroon!’ as he was being attacked. A female member of staff, who was supposed to be looking after his welfare, then allegedly proclaimed Tchatchue was too ill to travel and the asylum seeker was returned to Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre close to the airport. On his return, the manager was so appalled by the injuries the police were called.
Reverend Andy Braunston, a friend of Tchatchue, has written to the director of public prosecutions Alison Saunders to ask the immigration staff to be prosecuted. ‘Alain is a blind man who uses a white stick to get around and who has fled here because of fear of the violence of the state in Cameroon,’ he said. ‘It is shameful that agents of our government have beaten this vulnerable man in an attempt to send him back to persecution. ‘We should be ashamed.’
The UK Border Agency decided in 2010 to allow gay men, lesbians and bisexuals if they were not allowed to live openly in their country of origin. Before 2010, those seeking asylum were often refused permission on the grounds they could behave with ‘discretion’ when returned.
However, some activists believe the attitude remains when it comes to bisexual refugees as it is apparently easier for them to be ‘discreet’.
When contacted by GSN, Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre refused to comment.
There is a disturbing lack of attention being paid to this story.
To celebrate and support our new anthology, Against Equality: Queer Revolution, Not Mere Inclusion, a number of collective members will be touring across the US and Canada this spring.
On tour we will be doing lots of different kinds of events: book signings, discussions, lectures, video lectures, as well as participating in panels and scholarly conferences. To check out when and where we will be this spring, head on over to our events page where we will continue to add information and tour dates as they are confirmed.
Bummed we aren’t coming to your town? Invite us to come in the fall!
For many gay men and lesbians, the word bisexual is the second most anxious-making word in the dictionary (just after bi-curious).
This Bridge Called My Back - Writings by Radical Women of Color
I don’t care what gender studies or queer theory class you’ve taken, you need to read this book, but be warned, it is a rare find and might expensive. It contains several essays by womanists discussing their experience, racism, poverty, how racism pervaded the feminist movement in the early 1980s and most importantly the individual experiences of asian pacific, black, american indian and latina/chicana women. This words you find in this book and the truths that will make your soul sick are imperrative for understanding the history of racism, feminism, systematic oppression and white privilege. These are stories that have, even today, been swept under the rug and out of sight.
You need to read this fucking book.
PDF version downloadable here.
I’ve read it, but adding this to the reading list anyway.
LGBTQ* Theory Books (You May Want) To Know
- Queer Theory, Gender Theory - Riki Wilchins
- Feminism is Queer: The Intimate Connection between Queer and Feminist Theory - Mimi Marinucci
Mad for Foucault: Rethinking the Foundations of Queer Theory (Gender and Culture) - Lynne Huffer
- Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity - Judith Butler
Queer Indigenous Studies: Critical Interventions in Theory, Politics, and Literature (First Peoples: New Directions in Indigenous Studies) - Qwo-Li Driskill (Editor), Chris Finley (Editor), Brian Joseph Gilley (Editor), Scott Lauria Morgensen (Editor)
Please Select Your Gender: From the Invention of Hysteria to the Democratizing of Transgenderism - Patricia Gherovici
Queer Cowboys: And Other Erotic Male Friendships in Nineteenth-Century American Literature - Chris Packard
Aberrations In Black: Toward A Queer Of Color Critique (Critical American Studies) - Roderick A. Ferguson
- Queer Girls in Class (Counterpoints: Studies in the Postmodern Theory of Education) - Lori Horvitz
But what we should know from the situation of gay people of all colours and black people of all sexual preferences is that simply being a victim does not radicalize your consciousness. If that was the case, we would all be fighting the revolution right now together and he fact is we’re not because people want their particular form of victimhood to end with caring about what the implications of that are for other people…We have to move past the idea that our sexual preferences will radicalize our consciousness. Essentialized identity, whether it is race or sex, sexuality, etc. and the notion that just being the victim of something will enlighten you is also the big lie now.
There are three aspects of my identity that really can’t be untangled from each other: I am a queer woman. I am a feminist. And I believe that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is Allah’…
The previous model for social change has been revolution, everyone has sat around for a really long time and said, “when the revolution comes dadadadada…” It ends up being a very disempowering model because revolution isn’t coming. The message that it really sends is that unless total social transformation comes, you can’t act. But you can do one act of resistance every day. Everyday step out of your role, do something you wouldn’t normally do to try and have an effect.
[T]he politics I advocate—a frank embrace of queer sex in all its apparent indignity, together with a frank challenge to the damaging hierarchies of respectability—can result in neither assimilation nor separatism if carried through consistently. Against assimilation, one could insist that the dominant culture assimilate to queer culture, not the other way around. Straight culture has already learned much from queers, and it shouldn’t stop now. In particular, it needs to learn a new standard of dignity, and it won’t do this as long as gay people think that their “acceptance” needs to be won on the terms of straight culture’s politics of shame.
Does this position result in separatism? Quite the contrary. Were we to recognize the diversity of what we call sexuality with the kind of empathic realism in which many queers are unsurpassed, the result would not be separatism, and could not be, because it would give us no view of who “we” are apart from the fact that there are a lot of nonnormative sexualities in the world. This possibility has been voiced by queer writers of the past, from Walt Whitman through Jean Genet, and by contemporary critics as different as Pat[rick] Califia and Eve Sedgwick—who are neither separatists nor assimilationists. The frank refusal to repudiate sex or the undignified people who have it, which I see as the tacit or explicit ethos in countless scenes of queer culture, is the antithesis of identity politics.”