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Homophobia rife in refugee camps in Thailand, Burmese migrants say

Burmese migrants speak of persecution of LGBT residents in camps in Thai refugee camps.

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

2nd May 2013 01:01

Alessia Valenza | ILGA Asia

A Burmese migrant has spoken out about the homophobia he faced while living in a refugee camp in Thailand.

Writing for Thompson Reuters, Moses describes hearing anti-gay sermons from Christian preachers in Mae La camp close to the Burma-Thalland border. And it wasn’t just the Christians. ‘The families of my Buddhist [LGBTI] friends wouldn’t accept them, saying they’d soiled the family name and race,’ wrote Moses. ‘The Muslims are very prejudiced too. They wouldn’t allow gays to attend the mosque.’

Moses said that he got verbally abused everyday when he lived at the camp and sometimes people would grab him and take his clothes off in the middle of the road.

Since the political situation is improving in Burma, the Thai government are now taking steps to repatriate the refugees. ‘We heard repatriation to Myanmar is going to start soon too,’ said Moses.

‘I can’t even imagine what my future is going to be. All I want is to carry on with my studies and live in a place that recognizes me as a full human being, regardless of my sexual orientation.’ 

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