This Is Who I Am

Then they separated us. We tried to say no, we applied for asylum as a couple. They say we don’t have any civil evidence that we are a couple. And we’re like “how can we show you any civil evidence if homosexuality is forbidden in my country?”

This Is Who I Am – First-hand accounts of LGBT+ people seeking asylum in the UK

As part of the 2017 And What? Queer Arts Festival  we launched This is Who I Am; verbatim testimonies from LGBT+ refugees about their experiences in their own country and on arrival in the UK, addressing the particular challenges they face. Read by special guest performers and speakers, the reading was accompanied by queer songs and a post show discussion led by refugee advocacy groups African Rainbow Family, The First Wednesday group and Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants

The  testimonies were collected over many months of engagement with members of the First Wednesday group at the LGBT Foundation in Manchester. Special thanks also goes to Crisis. The script is available on request through our Actors for Human Rights network.

“The four monologues simply but powerfully illustrate the pain, hurdles and humiliation they encounter and are given an unadorned reading… the accounts speak for themselves and allow a light to be shone on the plight of a particular group of refugees that are ignored or met with incomprehension or minimisation of what they go through.” Audience Member

“It was an emotional evening for me. I was proud that voices from our First Wednesday group were being heard and applauded by a truly appreciative audience. I was privileged to be part of a discussion panel dealing with questions about the failings and injustices of the asylum process as it is experienced by LGBT people seeking asylum” Philip Jones, 1st Wednesday

“Told verbatim, read from scripts and cast in contrast to the people the actors represented allowed the honest recounts to be respectfully given centre stage. Victor, Denise and Dembes’ powerful words were so painful that any other dramatic intervention would have been a distraction…A fantastic fusion of theatre, discussion, awareness” OneSceneOne Theatre Reviews

Simon Amstell
Fisayo Akinade
Amanda Drew
Margaret Nankabirwa

Sadie Sinner The Songbird

Dan Gillespie-Sells


Aderonke Apata – African Rainbow Family
Sebastian Aguirre – ice&fire
Philip Jones – First Wednesday
Harry Jefferson-Perry – Lesbians & Gays Support the Migrants

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