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AP Photo/Ben Curtis
LGBTQ refugees in Kenya stand behind a Pride flag.
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Quiz: Are you “gay enough” to get asylum as an LGBTQ refugee?

By Max de Haldevang

While the number of countries criminalizing homosexuality has dropped dramatically in the past 50 years, the number of LGBTQ refugees has risen, according to the United Nations.

Members of the LGBTQ community overcome extraordinary risks to escape violent repression in their home countries. But escaping is only part of the fight. They will face the “double stigma” of being both LGBTQ and a refugee, and they may have to survive detention and refugee camps, where both officials and other residents can have high levels of homophobia and transphobia.

And even if they can survive all that, they still need to prove they are worthy of asylum. The little data available suggests that LGBTQ people receive asylum at lower rates than other refugees. In the UK—one of the few countries that does publish relevant data—the proportion of asylum requests granted to lesbian, gay, or bisexual refugees was almost a third lower than for all applicants in 2017.

Built into these tougher odds are often degrading questions about people’s sex lives, and asylum cases rejected on grounds that are deemed illegal by human rights courts.

Try the quiz below to see how you would cope with these real-life questions and conditions faced by current and past LGBTQ asylum seekers.