Deportable Subjects: Lesbians and Political Asylum
Abstract

Abstract:

This article explores how deportation as a state of emergency structures the queer migration narratives of lesbian refugees and asylum-seekers. The first part of the article discusses the ways in which the political asylum system produces queer, and specifically lesbian, migrants as deportable subjects. The second part examines queer anti-deportation advocacy emerging from within these spaces of deportability or crisis. The third part analyzes a 2010 piece of performance art, Oreet Ashery's Staying: Dream, Bin, Soft Stud and Other Stories, that reflects upon the everyday practices and embodied experiences associated with deportability. What is crucial about this particular text is that it enables the lesbian refugees involved in the project to take an active role in the production of their asylum narratives. In doing so, the article suggests, media and cultural advocacy on behalf of lesbian asylum can provide a site for the articulation of new sexual rights claims.