‘I’m overcoming it through this’: Activism and Psychological Wellbeing for Queer and/or Trans People of Colour Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the UK

Authors: Jess MacIntyre*, University of East London
Topics: Sexuality, Migration, Qualitative Research
Keywords: Queer, trans, QTPOC, refugees, asylum, postcolonial, subjectivity, activism, mental health, intersectionality
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Forum Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This qualitative study seeks to explore the effects of activism on the psychological wellbeing of queer and/or trans refugees who are also people of colour (QTPOCRAS) in postcolonial Britain. Four semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants recruited from a QTPOCRAS community group in Leeds. Davis’ (forthcoming) queerly raced hermeneutic phenomenological analysis was used as a tool through which to explore the meaning-making of activism and intersectional subjectivity. Analysis revealed themes of embodied ‘space’, ‘(dis)orientation’ and ‘purpose’ to be integral to the phenomenon. It was concluded that the risks of increased visibility and psychological fatigue of burnout had negative effects on psychological wellbeing, but that these factors sat alongside the profound psychological benefits of empowerment, community building, self-discovery, and uncovering purpose in visions of their activist futures.

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