Crossing Pride: Queer and Trans Refugee Transnational Storytelling & Digital Archiving

Debanuj DasGupta
Feminist Studies
UC Santa Barbara

Jeanne Scheper
Gender and Sexuality Studies
UC Irvine

Crossing Pride expands on two years of existing transnational partnerships that center queer and trans refugee voices by producing community-based storytelling in the context of local trauma-informed healing spaces. With the goal of creating a more sustainable network of support for LGBTQ refugees who have experienced upheaval and are seeking to reclaim their narratives, the group focused on the following: developing a manual for LGBTQ refugee-led storytelling and healing communities by holding three developmental workshops; creating a blueprint for an accessible and sustainable community digital archive for transnational networking and the archiving of refugee stories; and locating a long-term care partner for the digital archive. A public-facing archive contributes to informing policy debates; refugee stories relay powerful personal experiences and in doing so also expose the systemic flaws in national and international asylum processes. These have a disproportionately negative impact on queer and trans people seeking asylum based on experiences of violence and discrimination as gender and sexual minorities in their countries of origin.