During the past two decades, Canada has accepted hundreds of LGBT asylum seekers, including gay Iranian men. Sociologists of sexualities and migration have yet to study this group as immigrants whose sexualities play a central role in their social interactions, immigration, and integration practices. Taking integration as a category of practice and relying on Halbwachs’s theory of collective memory, I provide an empirical study of integration practices of gay Iranian refugees in Canada. I draw on 32 interviews with gay Iranian refugees to analyse their interactions with Canadian society at large, the Canadian gay community, and Iranian Diaspora. My findings indicate that memories play the role of proxies that inform gay Iranian refugees’ interactions in Canada at the intersection of race-ethnicity, gender and sexuality, and nationality.
With the author’s permission, a pre-publication copy of the paper has been uploaded to the RRN repository.