The aim of this article is to discuss how the covid-19 pandemic exacerbates inequalities and social isolation by examining the UK Government approach to providing asylum claimants’ access to safe accommodation and health services on the one hand, and charities support of particularly lesbian, gay, bi- and trans-sexual, queer and intersex (LGBTQI+) claimants to gain/sustain access to social spaces and social support on the other. The data used for the writing of this article is based on 14 semi-structured interviews conducted between August 2020 and April 2021 with social/charity workers, asylum claimants and refugees affiliated with NGO help organisations in Glasgow, Birmingham, Cardiff, Brighton, Belfast, and London. This article argues that that the Home Office’s policies around housing and health during the covid-19 pandemic are closely linked to ‘hostile environment’ policies and amplifying housing and food precarity, isolation, exposure to violence, economic insecurity as well as physical and mental health problems for LGBTQI+ asylum claimants. There is a lack of intersectionality in the governmental approach to refugees and covid-19 and which creates a support gap for particularly LGBTQI+ asylum claimants. This intersectional research on sexuality, gender and asylum in the UK reveals that hostile environment policies render LGBTQI+ persons seeking asylum particularly vulnerable to homelessness, limited support services as well as mental health problems and gender-based and sexual violence.
queer asylum, covid-19, hostile environment, isolation, UK, necropolitics,
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