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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > 286 > Taking on the Home Office

Taking on the Home Office

After fleeing horrific abuse in Nigeria and seeking sanctuary in Britain, one asylum seeker hit the headlines when she was accused of lying about being a lesbian and had her application rejected. Now she is a vocal critic of the system and helps other queer applicants


You can’t be a heterosexual one day and a lesbian the next, just as you can’t change your race.” So said barrister Andrew Bird — on behalf of then Home Secretary Theresa M ay — to Aderonke Apata in 2015.

It was Aderonke’s third unsuccessful attempt to be granted asylum, denied once more because the court believed she was lying about her sexuality. In court papers, the future Prime Minister even branded the claim a “ publicity stunt.”

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About Attitude

TO THE EXTREME Adventurer and extreme athlete Gavan Hennigan is at ease with himself. But that wasn’t always the case as cripplingly low self-esteem and a struggle to accept both his sexuality and his sexual preference, led him down a path of almost fatal self-destruction.