A gay 18-year-old Afghan refugee has been denied asylum in Austria because officials determined he wasn’t ‘gay’ enough to be gay.
Scared for his safety in Afghanistan, the young man originally applied for asylum based on the fact that he’s part of the persecuted Hazara minority in his home country. He later appealed citing his sexual orientation, which in his home country is illegal due to Sharia Law and can be prosecuted resulting in a possible death penalty. He told advocates that he was initially afraid to come out.
But the immigration official wrote in his report, “The way you walk, act and dress does not show even in the slightest that you could be homosexual.”
Also, the official noted that the young man had been involved in fights at the refugee center where he was being temporarily housed. The official decided that his “potential for aggression” undermined the Afghan’s claims since that “wouldn’t be expected from a homosexual.”
Additionally, the young man’s preference to spend time alone caused the official to wonder, “Aren’t homosexuals rather social?”
When asked at what age he realized he was gay, the Afghan told the case worker he came to that determination at the age of 12. But again, he was rebuffed by the official who said that was "rather early" since “there is no public sexual stimulation through fashion and advertisement” in Afghanistan.
Even when the teenager admitted to kissing men, the official decided it wasn’t true since the young man would have been beaten for such behavior.
Ultimately, the Austrian government rejected the 18-year-old’s application for asylum.
According to reports, the Afghan says he will appeal.
Yesterday, Instinct reported on a gay Iranian man who was also denied asylum by Austria. He was told by officials they didn't believe he was gay because he couldn't explain the meanings behind each color of the Pride flag.