Refugee Deemed “Not Gay Enough,” Deported

February 9th, 2007


A gay Nicaraguan man who fled his country at the age of 12 will be deported from Canada.

Alvaro Orozco had been seeking refugee status in Canada after swimming across the Rio Grande, making his way up through the states, and finally settling in Toronto. Orozco claimed that his father threatened to kill him for being gay, and that he didn’t feel safe in Nicaragua where homosexuality is still illegal. Strangely, his Calgarian adjudicator, Deborah Lamont, refused to hear him out, saying that if he were gay, he should have been sexually active:

I found the claimant’s many explanations unsatisfactory for why he chose not to pursue same-sex relationships in the U.S. as he alleged it was his intention to do so and he wanted to do so.

He is not a homosexual […] and fabricated the sexual orientation component to support a non-existent claim for protection in Canada.

Alvaro, incidentally, was only a teen when he made his claim for refugee status. His lawyer, El-Farouk Khaki, is furious with the decision, and said it showed a lack of understanding about gay teens:

Did [Lamont] expect all gay teens to be sexually active at 14, 15, 16 years old? That’s horrid.

You’ve got a kid who’s run away from home because he’s had the crap beaten out of him by his dad because he’s different, because he looks gay, because he doesn’t behave like the other boys or his brothers.

Alvaro is, of course, seeking a stay on the deportation order. In the meantime, adjudicators clearly have some well-defined expectations for gay men, so here are some quick tips to help conform to their image:

  1. Remove all songs from your iPod except for generic House music
  2. Try to book Snagglepuss as a speech therapist
  3. Shriek whenever you see someone that resembles Madonna
  4. Wear one of these fine costumes: Policeman, Construction worker, Indian, Cowboy, or whatever stereotype that leather-clad guy is supposed to be
  5. Carry around papers labeled “The Homosexual Agenda” and distribute them to school children

Good luck, Alvaro!

Update: Sheena, a youth centre worker, has informed me that Alvaro’s friends and allies have set up a website containing information on what you can do to help him out. Check it out!