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Identity

Giving support and solidarity to LGBT+ asylum seekers, the Identity group is an invaluable resource for LGBT+ folk in Direct Provision who can feel isolated and set apart from the queer community. In this issue, GCN speaks to Preet, one of the members of Identity, who tells us their story and discusses the issues that matter to them. Photo by Hazel Coonagh.

Originally from Mauritius, Preet’s wonderfully positive disposition and upbeat charm stands in stark contrast to the struggles they faced in order to live openly and happily.

Coming from a country which isn’t very accepting of LGBT+ people, Preet explained the difficulties in growing up as a very feminine child who sometimes liked to wear female-identifying clothes. Beatings administered by family members became a regular occurrence.

When from the age of nine, a neighbour began to sexually abuse Preet, the cold realisation arrived that there was no one to turn to for help. With a lack of social networks or support systems to turn to, there was no one to speak to and no available information for a child struggling to understand how to deal with such a horrific situation. By all appearances “the only gay person in the village”, Preet’s was a culture where “the straight people are superior and you’re inferior.”

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About GCN

This month at GCN we celebrate the elder members of our fabulous LGBT+ family with an exceptional series of articles and opinion pieces. As our centrepiece, you'll find a glorious photographic celebration of individual style shot by the exceptional Babs Daly. There's a loving look at Bridie's Bar in The George, alongside an investigation of rural LGBT+ life. Greenbow fill us in on what it's like to be deaf in the LGBT+ community and we profile a member of Identity - the group for LGBT+ asylum seekers. There's also a hard-hitting piece on the rise in homophobic violence in Honduras. In light of news that Teach Solais could face closure, we speak to those whose lives it has changed for the better. Let’s rally the community and get behind the West's only LGBT+ resource centre