Photo: Jessie Chen

Trans people flee to Sweden because they’ve heard that Sweden has come a long way with trans rights. But when they get here it’s not always as good as they had been led to believe.

During RFSL Newcomers Asylforum trans activist Suma Abdelsamie held a lecture about trans rights in the swedish asylum seeking process. An example of the lack of trans rights in the asylum process is that the healthcare that people without a residence permit  are entitled to does not include the hormones that a trans person needs.

Another thing is that a lot of people feel unsafe when they end up at asylum residences. The staff there often lack the competence to treat a trans person well, and more often than not transgender people are exposed to danger at the residence. She tells a story about a time where a person was abused and beaten at the residence. The victim had to move away from there, but the offender was allowed to stay.

The lecture provides insight into how difficult the asylum seeking process is for trans people – a perspective that’s not given a lot of space in the media discussions surrounding our asylum politics.

Text: Jennifer Ek Peter