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The Experiences of Iranian Sexual Minority Refugees and Asylum Seekers: A Phenomenological Study
To date, little research has explored the experiences of Iranian sexual minority asylum seekers and refugees. Yet, Iranian sexual minority individuals face persecution and discrimination due to their sexual orientation (Hamedani, 2014). Currently, Iran is one of 76 countries that have outlawed same-sex relationships, and one of five countries in which same-sex sexual acts are punishable by death (Hamedani, 2014). Thus, many sexual minority Iranians seek asylum (Hamedani, 2014; Keung, 2014). The process of seeking asylum, as well as relocating, is an experience seldom explored from the perspective of asylum seekers and refugees. The aim of this qualitative phenomenological dissertation is to elucidate the experiences of Iranian sexual minority refugees in order to critique and alter the dominant discourse about this population so as to improve the treatment and lives of Iranian sexual minority refugees. Several themes emerged, including participants’ beliefs about what needs to change in Iran, their interpersonal influences in Iran, life in Turkey, problems with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, issues imposed by the Trump Administration, beliefs about mental health care, and their beliefs about self and others. Power was found to be the primary structure that underlies both the reasons for seeking asylum and the experiences of seeking asylum for Iranian sexual minority asylum seekers and refugees. Implications for practice, policy, and future research are discussed.
Counseling Psychology|LGBTQ studies|International Relations
Najjar, Jihan, "The Experiences of Iranian Sexual Minority Refugees and Asylum Seekers: A Phenomenological Study" (2020). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI28022328.