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Eliana Rubashkyn - A Refugee Among Refugees - Proud 2016

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[00:00:00] This podcast is brought to you by the Elgar Oceania rainbow human rights and health conference and pride [00:00:09] Okay, I just found [00:00:13] so some people might know my [00:00:15] name is [00:00:18] formally Rubashkin. Now Converse, China just recently married. And so, you know, briefly, I just would like to speak a little bit about my experience, not for not victim point of view, because I'm tired of it. But from a perspective that can be health can be of your help, when helping refugees. There is a wave of refugees that will start coming to New Zealand in a big wave of rainbow refugees, that we need to start learning how to help. Because it's something new in the narrative, or the individual empowerment, music is seen as a country where we can be ourselves. So it's a country where rainbow communities will be targeting in they're seeking for a better life. So we need to know how to help them. Because there's so much that's been achieved until today for LGBT eyes in New Zealand. And all these people home with the problems that we're facing here 30 or 40 years ago, just starting to be in this country, and there is many challenges that need to be exposed. [00:01:19] So I'm going to speak [00:01:22] in a perspective of as a former refugee, that's experience, what's happening to the system, how you can help every refugee that is being resettled in New Zealand, and how to help not just people here but people overseas people that ask you or approach you in a way to, you know, asking for support in you understanding the ways of getting, you know, refugee status, and all this very complicated, and very difficult ways to be recognized as refugee and then this process of being received into another country. So I want to put the light a little bit down because I don't think this [00:02:00] so I first started my presentation, I [00:02:05] elected to put in an archive of because [00:02:10] first of all, it is a very fragile flower. It's a flower that needs to be protected to keep its beauty. orchid is also biologically speaking, like an intersex having both male and female dynamics. So just by understanding that our nature offers this sort of diversity, and we humans, we are being affected by the stereotypes or the narrative of these, you know, normalization in this six orientation, gender identity, gender expression. And this, this characteristics in one way that many of many people in this world feel not safe being who they are. So, okay. [00:03:01] So I'm going to, [00:03:04] so I wanted to put this picture because I feel it represents who I am as a intersex woman. And it represents how fragile I was at a point in my life, and how I am now in New Zealand, being beautiful, being proud, and enjoying this beautiful chance of having a life as a normal person without fear without with full dignity and enjoying just my existence. Okay, not many people like me, have this opportunity in That's dope photos peoples are going to speak with those people are going to speak to today. [00:03:48] Focusing for general topics, [00:03:54] the situation the general situation of sexual and gender non conforming individuals. So I'm going UGSGM Okay, that is [00:04:03] general and including also intersex people have been discussing as a part of our sexual non performing individuals, then, how we help refugees, and how we help the assessment teams that passes refugee status protection in the field, which is how we help refugees in countries of transition, and how we help them in our communities. Okay, so, first, I want to explain, give a short story of my life. I was born in Colombia, I was raised in a sign as a boy, I was assigned male at birth because my intersex condition isn't visible at birth. So I just has JD I just has developed like a male genitalia, that was just enough for my family to label me as a boy. So that way I was raised, I always feel that I was not that person they were trying to force to be in, in my adolescence, things starting to be difficult. In my puberty, that happen didn't happen quickly, I never was able to fully develop my journey through the eyes of men. And even the hair in my body never grew the way it should be, like supposed to be in a man in for that I was feeling that the gender that I was forced to conform was not I was not feeling comfortable in that gender. When I was 18 years old, I my breasts started to to be very permanent, in my body starting to take a very female shape. And it was understood what why why the thing was going on, then my mom took me to a doctor, they made some hormonal profiles, and I have a hormones, you know, very, the whole my whole world was just crazy. Had the productive productive levels, like three times higher than a woman in there we have all my hormonal profile was completely messed up, in the, in my mind starting to, to see that I have a hormonal problem that might be explaining why I never had a girlfriend or boyfriend, or why I never had a chance to really develop a strong identity as a person because I can I own my, my my time, like my adolescent was just more about conforming, but not really being because I never was a boy, I couldn't come for in that sense, I never develop a strong voice, I always had a very delicate voice. So even when I have some bird and so facial hair, I it was a little bit funny to see someone like look like a boy, then having a bird and then trying to conform as a boy in then all these kind of challenging binary things, okay. [00:06:52] I started to progress [00:06:55] in because I have a very masculine appearance. [00:06:59] I was targeted as a trans person in being targeted as a trans person when you come out in Columbia, which is a country with a very difficult social situation nowadays. It was a very difficult thing for me, I was subjected to social screening groups that still acting in Colombia. And those social pleasing groups attack me several times in my back to me and other transplants. And, and I still have those scars in my in [00:07:37] it's something that we all need to understand that [00:07:42] there is a copy of the word [00:07:47] in I was a starving my bucket, I was unable to access [00:07:51] to proper healthcare, because I didn't want to come out to my family [00:07:56] as someone who didn't [00:07:58] like up to so much. [00:08:03] This is very dangerous situation. [00:08:10] And, to me speaking on behalf of that person. [00:08:16] And, and I understood that my case is not a place for me to be in any sense because my family didn't understood my community didn't understood with transportation could completely targeted. [00:08:28] My country alone host 20% [00:08:30] of the general motor rates of transforming the world. And even though I wasn't transforming, I was representing something that they hate, because I don't conform in what they believe that to be a meaningful one. [00:08:46] I really hate it what my family did to me, [00:08:48] because they never give me the chance to serve determine that have a determination of my body. [00:08:56] Until today, I don't speak to them and no one in my family. [00:09:00] Because I still still keep the point that I was raised a boy. [00:09:04] And no matter if I have kids, if I had braids if I [00:09:07] have X and X chromosomes, I should be a boy because that's the way I was educated. [00:09:15] So I decided to escape [00:09:17] was so much suffering for me so many times so many suicide attempts. And then I decided to, to escape from all these worlds sufferings, tracing, feeling completely alone isolated. When my brain started to grow, my mom forced me to bind my breast. The doctors told my mom put me binders so I can show a more conforming body to my male identity. In I was I was proud of my dreads, I wanted to show my embrace, because I do I'm not ashamed of these ones. Many trans people are paying thousands of dollars to copy what I have naturally, why need to be ashamed of that? [00:09:55] Then, [00:09:57] so I got a scholarship to go to Taiwan. [00:10:01] And I went to Taiwan, it could be Denmark, it could be siloed Africa, but it was Taiwan. Because people often ask me, Why Taiwan, I got a scholarship to go to Taiwan. In was a perfect excuse for me to escape all this and be finally able to, to accept who I am. [00:10:20] So I went to Taiwan and everything was [00:10:24] perfect for me. Because Finally I could be stupid whiners. And I can be able to finally to show my booty how, how was My body. And I was finally proficient with my curves. In able to remove my bird able to just started to conform to my gender, what I feel comfortable. I want to pass an amazing health system. And it's a country that respects the spectrum of identities of a person is the most tolerant country in Asia. So I did a good decision. And I didn't really mean too much at a time when I couldn't tell you I didn't have much knowledge of Taiwan. So I was able to see doctors in ICTJ Nicola just want endocrinologists everything completely for free, because they work as an amazing health system. They saw me they understood my condition, they analyze my condition. And finally, for the first time ever in my life, I understood my condition called opportunities for sex, sex, sex politics, SY, which basically is calling the ancient books of medicine. That's true. And my product isn't for properties. They started out because I wanted to transition and because of my interest is condition. I didn't have to have a psych psychiatric assessment. So I have transitioned right away. Which was, for me helpful, but like many trans people in Taiwan, at that time, were suffering for waiting months and months to have this discharge to have transition. I didn't have to wait up because I've had this little biological advantage. [00:11:59] So they give me a cola electricity. Thank you so much. [00:12:05] They gave me a medication called April anticipate which is Coursera link is a GNR RH blocker, which actually stops, the FS, the follicle stimulating hormone, which is a hormone that is like the mom of the male and female hormones, with the intention of making my body completely blank in hormones be completely a sexual I would say or non like having a blank gender. So then I was able to start hormone replacement therapy or, like hormones for female hormones, which were not even present in me. [00:12:44] It took me only three months to change completely my opinions. [00:12:50] In six months, my appearance, including my face, in the shape of my eyes, the cheeks, my face, my body, even my boys change [00:13:04] in a way that [00:13:07] the person I was didn't exist anymore. In my passport wasn't able to compute my identity. So I became the legal. [00:13:20] I became a little [00:13:23] I was studying I was outstanding, I was doing my master in Taiwan Medical University. I was about to finish my thesis, I was very happy. Finally, I was like the person who I was. And this I would say transition was making me very happy. I didn't imagine that change is going to be so dramatic. Like, like, I can show pictures of me being before and beach pictures of me now and they don't even look I don't even look like like a brother of myself. Because we look pretty like two different individuals. And this is because of my intersex condition. So everything was fine until I go to knock from the immigration services in Taiwan. They told me Ileana, we cannot bring you your second year with your scholarship for your program. Because according to the Taiwanese law, you don't exist as a person. Because you don't compete with your passport, your passport doesn't identify you anymore. This person they were kind of to say to me, you need to approach your embassy hundred constantly of the country in Taiwan is not recognized as a country by my country in because the problem with China to China's in Taiwan being the legal China that no one cares about the big China. So I was very happy in Taiwan, because I was finally able to born. I was born in Taiwan. And everybody all the time when somebody asked me, Indiana, were you born or European this need to say I was born in Taiwan. And I don't use anymore My they like my biological birthday as a day of, of celebration. I use my birthday in Taiwan as my real birthday was 20 February. Because I am tired of my past because there was too much suffering that came to me just by being born, that I want to forget everything that's about my past. In that's why I celebrate and different birthday because I just don't want to know about the person I was before. The 3ds don't need to go to the closest Colombian consulate being that one in Hong Kong. [00:15:35] So I was in a [00:15:38] political situation of going from one country that is not a country to another country that is not even a country that belongs to a big country called China. And I was like going to two different worlds. Even though the same culture not same but the similar spectrum. You know, China generally speaking. When I arrived there for everything, everything started all the difficulties that I was experienced, and that many trans people went to travel and airport faced in many people that they don't have conforming identities face when they are in the airport. I was detained in the airport in once I landed I came for only two days I was with my intention of traveling for two days and then continue my master I approached my embassy many times before traveling to Hong Kong I because I was feeling in a very vulnerable situation. Because I didn't have a record of my transitioning in by having this specific intersex condition I didn't have the way to explain why change so much. For not surgical interventions, no nothing was changing my opinion so much. So when I when I was in the airport, I was detained and I was then detaining this section of the airport for holding also commendations and being Columbia was not helpful helping much because they were thinking I was doing trafficking sex drug drugs and or I was coming to Taiwan for sex work. Because they were understanding that I was a trance or something like that because I was a man in my passport. Now I look like a woman. But I just don't look like a woman I conform to the idea of a woman because I have feminine boys I have feminine body I have everything feminine. It just couldn't understand how quite be that person just few months ago detain me following the instructions, the placement at detention center with women in in I was been assaulted for two officers from the Chinese government I was sexually abused. nine hours after Indian I was sent to prison. In a myriad of prison I was abused and mistreated in arousing, I was really they didn't even allow me to use the toilet when I was in the airport, I have if you didn't have the chance to use the toilet. And they will force me to use the toilet in front of all the persons that were in Detention Room. [00:18:10] And I was so humiliated that I didn't want to do that IP myself. Just not to let them destroy my dignity. in that prison. [00:18:22] I was lucky enough that I have battery in a second phone that I was because I had two phones. [00:18:28] In the second phone was able to connect to Roman international of Taiwan in Hong Kong. So I sent a message in, in tweet in Facebook, in one of my friends Cindy mock, which was following my transition in Taiwan. That is from Singapore. But she was living in Hong Kong at the time. She knew I was coming to Hong Kong parties. And she saw that I didn't report myself up to London in Hong Kong after like one day, in that she started to panic and should contact great mobile phone calm, which is a organization in Hong Kong that helps LGBT people in all the senses. The columnist international they went to the poor, they fighting a very, very strong way, because they know that something terrible was happening to me. And it took me out of the airport. But I was a left there without a passport. My passport. At this stage of my life, I don't know what is my passport was destroyed. I was about to be deported, in what means the port is being sent from Hong Kong to Colombia. Now as a person, I am a believable person after being in transition. Going back as a person who I am, I didn't want that to happen. And I wanted to keep my dignity with me. So I refuse to be sent ports to Colombia. I had to drink to finish my master in Taiwan by state and I say No way, I'm going to leave. I'm going to let them win so easy. So I stages day Hong Kong and starting to fight the battle against the Hong Kong system. So it started with the process of asking for support different organizations I'm missing often international been one of the one of the ones that really support me a lot in the green wall of Hong Kong. That is a very powerful organization to have all my respect. Because they give me an old prediction that no one else was able to give me no from shelter when they could. And then when I started the process of being a refugee, I visit the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, my refugee case was so strong, so everything and so easy to says that I got my refugee status in 15 days, something that takes five years for my refugees took me 15 days. And then I became a refugee under the international law. Again, I became stateless, I lost my country, continued narrative support me another time, my country was unable to recognize my identity and my gender, that is actually not doing it. But it wasn't possible before. [00:21:12] So [00:21:16] being being in Hong Kong, [00:21:20] after being born, who I want, and then been struggling in Hong Kong, again is the beginning again in the situation of uncertainty or Valley what to do now my life. In this uncertainty of being a refugee, that is super difficult that nobody can even imagine what is being a refugee in what is being a refugee when you're never really expecting that I didn't understand what was refugee just when I did they send I became more I want not like many other refugees that they seek for that in the wrong to their countries for that I was one day, expecting to know gone just to travel few places and living the next day and then the day I became a refugee. [00:22:10] The United Nations were very helpful with me. [00:22:15] They were in a very specific case, it was the second time [00:22:20] was the second time they were assessing case of a repeat of a transfer refugee person at the time of trans transfer Fiji person in in Hong Kong, the the first one or Mongolian woman that is now visited in Amsterdam. And for me, what was quite shocking to see that I always everywhere I go, I'm the first or the one on the first ones. When I find out that we trans people been the most vulnerable segments of society. Then I understood that I was privileged because I was having to kill that person that was able to win a scholarship to go to Taiwan to stay for my country to have the kind of financial means to to seek asylum. The because many of my transfers in Colombia, they have to eat all the should have been there in they just don't have the financial means to just to even move out of the cities. [00:23:11] So [00:23:13] being in Taiwan, in Hong Kong, then the United Nations starts all the proceeds that are going to speak into the deception of protection in the field. They sent me to a refugee camp [00:23:26] in UN long, [00:23:28] and everything the difficult part of of all the story just started because this is the actual tough times of my life. The previous parts being a little introduction to pass, The difficult thing of being my living in a refugee camp is not an easy thing, when you are so different in which you are so vulnerable. That's why this presentation is called a refugee on refugees. They been in a refugee camp is a very difficult think, especially for LGBT refugees. Even more when more of refugees are people call me from countries where our identities are not accepted, but not just not accepted or hated. [00:24:17] And countries where their values are. [00:24:23] Their indication levels and many other things are not actually compatible with your existence. I don't know why they some refugee camps are so stupid to divide the population of the refugees between males and females. [00:24:42] I couldn't fit in any of them. I couldn't be in their [00:24:48] houses for boys or in the houses of woman we will have to share toilets and how can I take a shower in front of mostly moments or in total sense you know in the other boat you know they were so they they decided that the best place for me was out of your long clothes to shrink chain [00:25:10] and the shipping container [00:25:13] so I was living over six months in a shipping container. [00:25:21] Hong Kong has pretty hot temperatures, very humid temperatures. In I remember waking up with cockroaches being part of my every day and getting so used to that like you open a piece of bag of bread and cockroaches in things that I would never used to because I have a privilege life in my country. I had a privilege life in my country. My mom we had a privilege life in there I understood was not being privilege. You know this sense that you don't have nothing you don't have a citizenship you don't have family. You don't even have a profession after you've been pharmacies then you ended up being homeless with nothing and you didn't do nothing wrong because I didn't commit a crime. [00:26:14] And then [00:26:19] and then living in this in this container and then I was able sometimes to have internet I usually had enough money in the beginning of my journey to go to remote of Hong Kong and stay some days there I was sleeping in the HIV testing room that they have because they have a very little place like I must say like this place where everybody sleeps on the floor. Most opens up to homeless Hong Kong, most of them half of them being from China, Mainland China. They are living in you can go out there and you will find LGBT is homeless and sleeping all over the place like these maybe 40 persons and I was corner and they were so nice people that they just make like a liquid room for Ileana because I was the only trans living in that environment they were understanding that we not do have privacy needs you know, because they weren't even sleeping naked they didn't mind about nothing you know they weren't taken up in a finale. And then these they let me sleep in the HIV testing room because being a more private place for me to sleep I think three months into the HIV testing room of the rainbow calling in column [00:27:37] attorney somebody Hong Kong cow loon [00:27:42] so I even remember exactly up in Jordan street Jordan, they are in Jordan between Nelson road and Jordan road seven floors to fight to metal and they have a beautiful You just need to look up into Windows and see all the beautiful rainbows that they put into this seventh floor where they are they're staying there is a place for all the GDPR to sleep there. And it's a beautiful thing that we would like to see New Zealand a place where all activity I homeless can just come to sleep because they don't have a place to sleep and they just cannot go to animal shelter because we cannot go to a normal shelter [00:28:21] we need people like us [00:28:26] so this journey we enter refugee don't want to tell experiences have been in a refugee camp because they are so difficult things happen there. So many assaults and even so many attacks happening. I have scars on my body for many things in [00:28:42] and things that just [00:28:45] yeah, in the refugee camps, you find people being great, you find women being beaten, in hearing hearing New Zealand, the refugee camp, you can see these things happen because refugees come with their minds, the mindsets given to New Zealand, I remember being here in Hungary, and I remember seeing a family where they the brother was beating her sister for not wearing a hijab beating in front of all the refugees and we've been completely unable to help and this reproduce being in a process of understanding the culture of this country that this is not okay. All these difficult things that I think we need to learn about do we need to learn about them as well as they need to know learn about us penis how we can coordinate the support of those who help refugees to have awareness of the LGBT issues. So then Jacqueline is jack being this container I was able to contact him to different trials organization for wherever of my case I started to be told that New Zealand was the place for me I was forced to have a normalization surgery to fit in a full name in a passport to come here which was happening with other countries so I was able to travel to New Zealand I didn't choose this country was a United Nations who taught us country to be a place for me so it was the united nations who told that to so New Zealand to be a place in we just wanted to speak my situation I just wanted to spit I'd come here in the spy jungle super great help because Jacqueline hope to be civil be civilized my case into the immigration team that assists refugees in in I was I came in a very unusual path for Colombian refugees because Colombian refugees come from Ecuador they don't come from Hong Kong because there is many Columbia refugees in New Zealand it's over 140 every year I was a very unusual refugee come from Hong Kong. So So that was something that that really changed many ways in so now I want to quickly sorry for being taken so long to speak about how can you help people like me institutions like me are just okay [00:31:21] sorry for crying very sensitive. [00:31:24] Okay, so [00:31:28] as I was mentioning first on there is theories that we need to understand because they can be sometimes confused in a nice Okay, like what is a refugee? What is an aside asylum as a saline or, or an asylum seeker. In in just understand these definitions are important, because being a refugee is the end of the process in Not, not all people can get to that point who will be being recognized this refugee, many asylum seekers of people that are looking for getting that status. Many organizations call them refugees, while they are not been officially granted refugee status. Sorry. For definition, and this is a definition that was created after the World War Two, because the concept of being a refugee and be interested to to another country where are settled in the condition relating to refugees of 1951. That was after the Holocaust. And what happens in Europe that we decided to create like a afraid to understand how to how to help people that is being forced by forced migration to from country to another. So refugees have to flee to another country to be granted refugee status or to be considered as ice asylum. Yes. And few of these ones in transition artists little, I want to show a very dramatic picture of the situation in terms of LGBT I, as I least like me is the ones that were former refugees, and now living a happy life in the country of you know that they are enjoying life Finally, and asylum seekers are the ones who are still waiting for their status to be requests. So this is one definition that I correct from the around promising organization that works specifically towards LGBT refugees helping other organizations to be aware of how to help LGBT refugees, including the United Nations, the UNHCR, and the High Commissioner for Human Rights. So they say that what is what is SGM, which is sexual and gender non conforming individuals, persons whose sexual practices sexual characteristics, attractions or gender expression are different for social expectations based on their assigned sex of birth. So based on that we have this map that is allowed to be cut because there's no pressure there. And New Zealand is always ignored. indiamart So, okay, so I don't know if you can see the corners, but we can see countries were same sex marriage and services practices are, are they ready to have a death penalty? countries where there are older criminalization for being LGBT I, I would say NZV. Because being trans Indian intersect issues, they have many other cultural understandings that can be more difficult sometimes understanding, like being trans senior is ok. But okay, in a very terrible way, because they forced you to have a surgery to conform to one gender one another. Then prevailing and punished, abused by state of non state actors, and mainly focus Colombia, Brazil, many countries in Central America, especially on doors, where, especially in those countries transforming our targeted, being known that 80% of the murders of transgender women were happening alone in Latin America, especially in Brazil. So this is things that we need to understand, because sometimes when we speak about the violence of LGBT issues, we just focus in Uganda, in the Russia in the in, you know, and the other countries that we don't understand that most of the more LGBT related murders are happening in countries that we tend to be colorful, and to be respected for all these things. And that's not true. Okay. So as we can see what countries there like, for instance, South Africa, it wasn't the first countries in the world to recognize same sex marriage, still, many people is modern, therefore, being LGBT, I know, including other factors as those countries are naturally violent. So it's just violence being something cultural, and then those vulnerable ones be more vulnerable for being who they are. So this is a very sad picture of the situation of this that people educate people [00:36:28] is understood that there is about hundred 75 million of sex and gender non conforming individuals in the world living in places where would they are challenged, or in persecution, which is about 5% of the world's population, is actually half of the LGBT population live from countries where their condition, it's, it's not accepted, in a very trivial way. From this hundred 75 million, how hundred and 75,000 have a sexual orientation, gender identity that is perceived or known. So it's like people that have a sexual orientation, there is no core community or expression that is understood and is not actually matching with what a person should be conforming with DG 604,000 of these hundred 25 have been harmed trading in the countries of origin being 80% of those were the ones I mentioned before, which is showing that 8% of the people were whose sexual orientation is known, has been attacked in some stage in their lives. [00:37:40] Half of them [00:37:42] escaped from their countries to to transit or siloed countries like, but I didn't really escape. I was, I was his situation. So it's people like I don't know people that go to another country just to to find safety. Many LGBT people just go from one city to another city, to find more kind of enjoying this chance of being not known or something like that, in only 20,000 know, would understand or did help to apply for the refugee status as an asylum seeker, and to seek protection from the High Commission prefer the commission for refugees. Only 10,000 are resettled a region in the world. This figure is a 2015 one because in 2011, one, only 200 refugees were accepted to be facilitating two countries. So it was very sad to see how few refugees are accepted as refugees when we are easily seen as the most vulnerable segment of the society. And that can show how sad is the situation. That's why I was telling you the conference that you see line that is being fighting for increasing the refugee corridor should also fight for allocating a specific number of seats for LGBT refugees in a proportion of a 5% of the population that has been facing horn, because we are I own the only gender refugee in this country. And I don't think that's really like reflecting reality does in in the world. [00:39:27] And then this so. [00:39:31] So we know all this. We know all of these. So I don't want to go in depth at many countries don't actually persecute gay people based on laws and religions done but also like Russia, where being gay is okay according to the law, but is not too much being according to the propagandists, and stuff like that. Or we can see many actually this map is from a gun is pretty updated. So that's probably wanted to bring it up. In this map intersects rights and gender identity laws are not included. Because it's another segment of understanding how open is the world because we might find countries where the sex marriages are saved. But being being trans is very difficult. The final run like Sweden, or Finland, where there's no gender identity recognition, just by through surgery, many countries even in Europe are still this problem. So it's like forced mutilation just to be recognized an agenda to fill you are even in very developed countries. So now, when we want to help refugees, we need to understand that there are governing documents that are outlining all the things that all the definitions and stuff that need to have refugees being the most important one thing 1951 convention of the convention of the refugees on the ninth 1960s political, then there is other things that we need to under to to know that everything country has its own national laws, every country knows how many people really stepped in for which categories New Zealand has a specific categories, including woman in race score of persons with disabilities, and things like that. That's why I was suggesting that LGBT in being included as one of those categories, then, we have addressed and UNHCR got line be nominated for protection of sexual orientation and gender identity, it was just two years ago. And then they need to go and codes of conduct. So this is the refugee process is very terrible, I will share with you my slides. So you can see that, like when you ask a claim, you are eligible you are an eligible, then you need to go to like a port of entry is like going to another country. And then when you go to a country where they accept your case, and then you go to claim a refugee status and just submit all the documents that you have a hearing with the height the person in the United Nation, they listen to your case, they accept your claim. And they appeal your case, today refugee appeal division, and then they started the process of resettlement and things like that. So very difficult process that I don't even understand very well. And then so what is important for us this says activist this, this invitation sensitization about refugees is teaching people what what is gender teaching people of what is gender identity, gender expression, biological sex, sexual orientation, in let him understand that those stereotypes that we are, that we usually try to define for certain activities are not always conforming the reality of a person. So enjoy our lesbian, a journey to be Bochy, or you are gay, you don't need to be effeminate, or if you are trying to need to be flamboyant, or all these kind of stereotypes that usually the UNHCR cases seek as a way to prove your, your condition, your sexual orientation or your identity. [00:43:05] So these really interesting gender unicorn, [00:43:09] that explains all the different ways they How can they play in different respective aspects of a person, the gender identity expression, the sex, the person was a sign up for how the person or kind of sexual attraction this person causing how this person is romantically or emotionally attracted to others. All these things are understood by all of us, but are not understood by UNHCR in, in teams that help refugees to get the refugee status didn't understand that, how come if you're bisexual to choose one side, and don't be persecuted? And then so or things like that, you know, like, like ignorance from them. [00:43:52] So, once everything starts, when you're starting to understand [00:43:56] every country, what is the promise in every country, how this country is all these reports coming from being the only so far organization that the United Nations has as a, as a credit accredited organization to? Yeah, one of their anything, but to give information that can be used as a way to, to, to place in the country for information, that is something that is being used to understand if you are really in Greece, or not, depending on which country come from, and then, and then understanding you know, like, like, how the person get to how the person can get to these these groups, something that many LGBT people when they are in a different country, when they go to the UNHCR, the first thing they are is afraid of coming out to them in exposing older truth to someone that don't even know what gender means or what sexual orientation means or someone who's going to be judgmental. You know, we have we have these people in different countries in people that is not being educated. So that's we have to do education. There, we need to seek for implementation to make a decision here, like places in New Zealand without the directors. So how we lead a great growth know how how they have to ask taxes, as the cases of refugees, educated them, like what we're doing here learning that we can give them instructions of how to treat the refugee, what kind of sort of health concerns they have, what kind of things they're worried about, even how they can culturally engage with their past, you know, they're Muslims, which kind of places they can visit as a gate, Muslim, transgender, Muslim, or things like that. Okay. [00:45:37] And then, [00:45:39] also, given legal advice, many refugees come here, and they have their partners in their countries, and then they have difficulties to prove their relationship, because their relationship was something that they were ashamed of in the control region. So how to help them you know, to reunite with your actual partners and stuff like that. helping refugees that come here and don't even understand who they are, like many people met in here in New Zealand, a transgender woman that came from Saudi Arabia to study English and then decided to stay here because she wanted to be a woman. And she don't even know how to start the process here in New Zealand, and she don't even speak good English. And she's been now in this situation of trying to seek asylum. Yeah, because she's an asylum seeker. She, she might know, starting the process of being recognized as refugee on the stuff in many other things. Like, for instance, when I was living in the refugee camp in Madrid, I found a woman, she identified the time as a woman. She came from Zambia. And in she, she knew about me, because everybody that knew about me something very terrible. Somebody everyone in the company, nobody knew about me. So she approached me and say, Look, [00:46:54] I'm a woman that likes woman. I don't know who I am. [00:46:58] Because I don't I this was, was showing me her books. In she was likely like, she was very curious about me, because she didn't really understood well, how can I be like, Are you gay? Or what's your business, just educate myself. And then I put starting to [00:47:14] let her know about making her aware of [00:47:17] hair, [00:47:18] transsexuality that she wasn't aware. Because she's she says, I never been a woman. In now she's starting transition, to be a transmit. By thinking then she was before the list. And because she couldn't really in her culture, there is not understanding of being a trans person. [00:47:37] So there is many ways to prove [00:47:39] the how good you are, or how lesbian, you are trans you are. But the United Nations has terrible ways to do that. [00:47:46] So [00:47:48] for instance, in Czech Republic just five years ago, there were implanting beanies, sensors, something that you put in the penis of the asylum seekers to check the arousal while watching porn movies, gay movies, and these kind of things, or very inclusive, very interested in through the questions [00:48:10] just about the person just to assess their sexual orientation. And all [00:48:14] these things were the ones that United Nations was starting to see us up early, so didn't need to be changed. So they create a the number nine, a guidelines to lead to help caseworkers to improve their ways to assess cases, because it's not good to ask these questions, when you don't really know how to ask these questions. [00:48:41] So like, they see a person, a woman, that she's a lesbian, but she has a children, social colleague, how is that possible, and she's just trying to explain she was raped in her country of origin. And then because having a thorough sexual behavior is is challenging thing to prove them that you are actually part of the LGBT I because you have a sexual behavior, or many other things, you know, many people try to conform. So in those countries, you have to conform to survive in the in the United Nations is asking you to not to conform so we can prove that you are who you are. So these kind of things that will change and starting to be changed. [00:49:24] So now protection in the field is how [00:49:26] we help refugees like me when they are in countries of transition. distinct is not an important model for New Zealand, New Zealand is considered a resettlement country rather than the country of transition. Because this country is good enough for LGBT people to stay here. So it's like how we help how we accept ourselves, help these refugees in many things like, especially with housing health, many have been having HIV and being treated well being the countries of transition, many transforming, that started already transitioning have not access to, to hormones, like in my case, when I was in Hong Kong, in all sorts of issues like general facilitation, things like food, having a job, as a refugee, you can't work in a country of transition, you're completely forbidden of that you are forbidden to study. And all these kind of basic things that you are forbidden in, you know, it's very difficult when you're in another country. So how we can, as refugees, make sure that every person can fulfill every single aspect of their lives, and they can have decent life in the country of transition. [00:50:33] There is something that is called multiplicative effect, that you [00:50:36] are not just a refugee, and you are also a foreigner, and a country, in that you can experience racism. And then you can experience transphobia, or homophobia, or intersex phobia, and all these things together, when we bring a refugee from other places. So there's something that we need to be aware of, because a single person can be all this spectrum of things that we you know, we need to protect someone was grace or religion, or origin, making create problems when they are trying to resettle in a place. Many people don't know that you can be protected under the United Nations for being lesbian, gay, bisexual intersects with transgender. And this is something that is very sad to know, because many people they just didn't understand this means mechanisms of protection, and they don't even understand how to access them. So they just [00:51:39] give up and they just [00:51:41] don't seek for protections. I think they know that. And I don't think many of you guys know about these things. Because this really is a very difficult process, as you might know, to becoming a refugee, isn't it that can take you years. And it's too much suffering. And I don't think many people is willing to sit to wait so long, because you have to stay in refugee camp for over five years. without the ability to, to work or study. Especially if it's tertiary education. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can't in Hong Kong, I was unable to study. Some countries allow you to study, most of countries don't let you to work. [00:52:18] So these kind of things, okay. [00:52:24] So we suffer when you are in those countries, server isolation, I was suffering from severe isolation when he was in a shipping container in Hong Kong. I don't think that's the way you should treat a person that's genders is different, or structuring a sexual identity is different. But I know that her contest doesn't give much funds for refugees. So I understand the limitations. But we also need to protect the dignity of person because persons we are persons who deserve to be treated with dignity. Also, we need to provide them a legacy because they don't have any legal support. We need to put providing HRT because many of them they don't have. I remember in Hong Kong, one person from China dying, because they will not providing him [00:53:14] their medication. [00:53:17] And I guys, and I know this person died in nine days, he didn't die for HIV. But he was dying because the government of Hong Kong wasn't giving him the medication. [00:53:29] Then [00:53:31] people that face many difficulties, like a trans person with HIV. So trying to provide access to this person is going to be super difficult. And then you know, how he provides psychosocial services and housing, and employment. So basically, the resident man is no different from the protection in the field, just like how we provide this refugee so safe housing, a safe job, a safe community were to be in how we engage all these people in our communities in our gay community, lesbian community, LGBT community, trust community, everything, to make them feel welcome. Because they come from a place they don't understand what is being welcoming what is being embraced and celebrated. So that's something that we might need to do to help them in their, in their mental health, because they don't really know what is to be accepted. So I just mentioned need to care about the low points of the of the refugees, their partners, the dependence video, they have children, their health, their community, their family, many of them live their families forever, like me, and they don't want to see their families back anymore, but not not all of them have the same situation and how to provide safe, safe housing and employment. [00:54:46] Thank you.

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