Gay Asylum a Western Shame

An emotional animated video of one gay man tells it for thousands

By Melanie Nathan, January 05, 2013.

Screen Shot 2013-01-05 at 4.34.47 PMFrom persecution to brutality to escape, all horrifically traumatic and yet when it comes to seeking asylum, we the West have the audacity to exacerbate the pain. Are we not as guilty as the initial persecutors if we fail to adjust our systems, our laws, our protocols to mitigate the pain?

Tacko is a gay activist and civil rights leader from Senegal, a nation where openly gay people are politically persecuted, imprisoned and murdered for being gay. Tacko is a political activist in Movement for Justice, fighting for all immigrant rights, respect and equality.

People like Tacko are held in excruciating limbo by the United Kingdom’s Border Agency.  UKBA is slow to grant asylum to persecuted asylum seekers who have already gone through (often) death defying measures to make it to foreign soil.  Often asylum seekers are returned to their persecuting countries because of poor legal representation and difficult to prove cases.

Tacko gave this interview, and Ciselle Fung made this animation from it, to give voice to the truth, the experience of Tacko stands for many thousands.

While Britain and the U.S.A.  have joined calls for nations to end the criminalization and persecution of homosexuality, both countries have withheld sanctuary from people facing that very danger.

It is time to call for the entire system pertaining to LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers to change.

MFJ, based in the UK is sending the clear message now: Visit

Very little is being done by U.S.  LGBTI and human rights organizations to advocate for changes in the law to help our international LGBTI asylum seekers, escape and attain asylum.

VOICE from Ciselle Fung on Vimeo.

VOICE from Ciselle Fung on Vimeo.

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3 Comments on “Gay Asylum a Western Shame”

  1. Tracy January 5, 2013 at 6:26 PM #

    Responsibility for these disenfranchised (*Statue of Liberty, anyone?) people absolutely falls at the feet of the free, western countries. What I think would work is the same tactic used any time a country is mistreating it’s peoples- an embargo. Unfortunately, the strongest nation, with the most power to stop this cruel & inhumane treatment, is the USA- & the USA is still wrestling with equality rights itself.

    Thank you Melanie, for putting this out there. The film was great, well done, and I hope it’s simplicity punches through the cloud of apathy of those with the power to do something to change it- not only the UK, but all countries taking in asylum-seekers.

    *Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
    With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
    Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
    Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
    Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
    The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
    “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
    With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    • Melanie Nathan January 5, 2013 at 7:14 PM #

      Thank you Tracey you are right…


  1. Gay Asylum a Western Shame | Daily Queer News - January 6, 2013

    […] Read more […]

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