Afghan Teen Wasn't Gay Enough to Get Asylum in Austria: Report

According to the official handling the teen's asylum application, his walk, dress, and actions proved he couldn't be gay.


Radek Procyk/

An 18-year-old Afghan native seeking asylum in Austria may have had his application denied because he didn't act gay enough.

The unnamed teenager, who's been living in Austria since 2016, first applied for asylum on the basis of his Hazara heritage, according to Deutsche Welle (DW). The Hazara minority is persecuted in Afghanistan.

Later, he said he couldn't go back to his home country because he's gay. Homosexuality is against the law in Afghanistan and many other Muslim-majority countries.

"Of course it's difficult to tell people that you're gay, when you live in asylum accommodation centers where you still have to hide your sexuality. He was a teenager—they need time and a trustful environment," LGBT rights activist Marty Huber tells The Washington Post. Huber works for Queer Base, a human rights organization that's representing the Afghan teen.

But the teenager's asylum application was rejected by an Austrian official who didn't think he acted gay enough. "The way you walk, act or dress does not show even in the slightest that you could be homosexual," the official wrote in his assessment, according to AFP.

The official also based his assessment on the fact that the teen had gotten into several fights and appeared to be something of a loner. "You appear to be capable of a level of aggression which would not be expected among homosexuals. You didn't have lots of friends.…Aren't homosexuals usually more sociable?" the official said.

There's more. AFP reports:

The official rejected the statement that the Afghan teenager had kissed straight men, saying he would have been beaten if he had done so, the Falter reported.

He had said he became aware of his sexuality when he was 12 years old, but the official found that was "rather early" and so not likely, particularly in a society such as Afghanistan "where there is no public sexual stimulation through fashion and advertisement".

Austria's Interior Ministry wouldn't confirm the details of the case to the Post. But it noted that "using a few sentences out of" the 120,000 asylum decisions the government has made in the last two years "does not reflect reality."

"Asylum-seekers must substantiate their reasons for fleeing," the ministry said in a statement to DW. "There are no concrete rules of proof, but the authorities must show if and why a claim was found to have been substantiated."

The teen is appealing his asylum rejection.

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  1. Peak Gay will be reached soon after Peak Derp. Only then will the world know peace.

  2. I’m outraged!

  3. Just when gays are getting past the whole glaming flamboyant thing, along comes Austria. Sigh.

    “Well, you can tell by the way I wag my walk
    I’m a man’s man, no time to talk”

    1. Better seen as flamboyant than aggressive and fascist. The world doesn’t need to be reminded of the Sturmabteilung.

  4. Bruno set a high standard for Austrian gay.

    1. Not to mention Arnold.

  5. LOL – obviously the official was broadly hinting that there was one way the boy could prove to his satisfaction he was gay but unfortunately the poor boy didn’t take the hint.

    1. I learned recently that, apparently, you can share your bed in the some of the most euphemistic of senses with a lesbian and still be considered a gay man.

      As for me, put me in a room full of naked Swedish bikini models. If I don’t have sex with any of them, I must clearly be gay. If I do, you can send me back to Afghanistan (NSFW).

  6. But you’re okay with bringing everyone in the Muslim world that is okay with oppressing gays and wanting to impose Sharia law on Western countries.

    1. And they’re clearly striving to overcome their old ways and adapt. You can tell by the way the kid came out to his family and friends inside the detention center asylum accomodations without fear of discrimination or reprisal.

    2. Oddly, people seem most concerned about this in places where Christians pretty much run everything. Is there some strategy here I’m unaware of? First Alabama, then the world!

      1. The sad thing is, Christiansxare getting progressively better on gays, while progressives are getting progressively worse on free speech.

        When did progress mean choosing the wrong side of history?

        Any who, gay was so 20 years ago. Nowadays, if you’re not transgenders first, you’re boring.

        So what size dress do you want?

        1. Well you seem to have this all figured out.

        2. Lefties have been bad on gay rights. Hillary was against gay marriage. Obama was too before he was for it.

          1. All the best people were against it before they were for it.

          2. The Defense of Marriage act was created and enacted by the Clintons in the 90’s. In 2008 both Obama and Hillary said they were against gay marriage. Their policy statements were no different than Pence’s.

            Trump always publicly supported gay marriage, and during his campaign said Caitlyn Jenner could use whatever washroom she wanted.

            But somehow team Hillary ended up being declared GLAAD’s savior while Trump was dubbed the devil. How puzzling, if I didn’t know better I’d think that GLAAD was just another DNC vote farm.

      2. Oddly, people seem most concerned about this in places where Christians pretty much run everything. Is there some strategy here I’m unaware of? First Alabama, then the world!

        So you missed the part where he fled the non-Christian country to seek refuge in the Christian country? And you missed the part where he can’t mention his homosexuality in refugee quarters because his fellow refugees will beat him?

        And you –along with Reason clearly missed the part where he’s being questioned on this because his first reason –that he’s a persecuted minority– didn’t pan out.

        Finally, you, as a gay man, should be supportive of the idea that people are trying to make sure that Austria is not importing violent homophobes.

  7. Once again, open borders is the correct policy. If this person wants to live in Austria, it’s his fundamental human right to live in Austria. Period. Deporting people is morally comparable to enforcing fugitive slave laws, as Reason’s Shikha Dalmia has noted.


    1. Deporting people is morally comparable to enforcing fugitive slave laws, as Reason’s Shikha Dalmia has noted.

      Living under Capitalism is like living under slavery. Why are people running towards slavery? Makes no sense.

    2. The Swedish agree. They weren’t setting enough cars on fire until all those lovely immigrant gangs were allowed into the country.

  8. It’s almost like doing things based on identity politics might not be the greatest metric.

    1. “They’ll kill me back home” isn’t really identity politics dude.

      1. How is that Austria’s problem?

        1. It isn’t.

  9. No one is ever gay enough for the Austrians.

  10. How dare those Austrians not welcome this Muslim with open arms

  11. The bureaucrat sounds like a bit of a douche, but I also can’t help but question whether the kid is claiming to be gay because the oppression points might allow him to stay in a nicer country.

    1. Maybe, but if that’s really the reason they’re disqualifying him as gay, it’s pretty offensive.

      1. True enough. Those are some very subjective measures to ascertain the veracity of his claim. If, however, those are merely observations laden upon actual evidence that the claim is false then it’s merely a douche move.

  12. You know who else was Austrian and had a habit of walking and dressing funny?

    1. Arnold Schwarzenegger as Terminator?

    2. Albert Einstein in old age?

  13. Yeah, we get stories about this every couple of months. Some bureaucrat somewhere in Europe doesn’t think a gay asylum claimant is “really” gay.

    I’m surprised to see it here on Reason though.

    1. LOL I see what you did there.

    2. What sources are you seeing this from?

    3. They glossed over why being gay is considered bad in Afghanistan.


      1. Same reason it is considered bad in America’s sparsely populated, declining precincts:

        Old-timey superstition and poorly educated, gullible, backward people.

        1. For once I agree with you.

        2. So Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, St. Louis, San Francisco, Baltimore, Chicago?

        3. So what should the aristocracy do with these horrible plebs?
          Disenfranchise them? Put them in camps? Eat them for dinner?

  14. ‘Homosexuality is against the law in Afghanistan and many other Muslim-majority countries.’

    Several Christian-majority countries, too. Mostly in Africa and the West Indies.

    1. …and China, Vietnam, Cuba, most of Central America and India. The laws aren’t on the books, but just try being publicly out and you’ll be sitting in jail on one charge or another.

  15. If you want to be totally gay, dance to Frankie, he says Relax, when you wanna come?

    1. he says Relax

      Don’t do it.

      1. Definitely don’t do it. The song is dangerous! Listening to it is liable to make someone try to assasinate the Malaysian prime minister.

  16. You know which other famous Austrian was not a fan of the gays?

    1. The cut-off year was 1934. Underzog can explain this for you.

    2. Aaaahhhnald the Sperminator?

    3. Franz Ferdinand?
      (bonus link)

  17. In Austria. Walk around flamboyantly gay. Attract interest from other gay people, have sex.

    In Afghanistan. Walk around flabmoyantly gay. Attract interest from the Taliban. Get thrown off a tower to your death in front of the whole city.

    I wonder why the bureaucrat has never seen a flamboyantly gay Afghani?

  18. The problem is that too many boys before him have cried wolf.

    1. What’s the proper cry? More, Daddy?

  19. I’m highly suspicious of this bureaucrat.

    What are the odds he uses his position to misuse power? I bet he propositions those refugees who claim to be gay and if any, like this boy, decline his advances, he takes that as “proof” that they aren’t really gay.

    Call me overly cynical, but I think that’s how government often operates.

    1. In these sad days, it is impossible to be too cynical.

  20. Right-wing gay-bashers are among my favorite faux libertarians.

    Mostly because their stale thinking means they’ll take the rest of the conservative agenda down with their bigotry.

    1. Racist!

  21. I’ve been to Austria several times and it generally seems a very tolerant society. I think this episode has nothing to do with being gay and everything to do with trying to control it’s borders and limit the number of refugees it accepts – as is it’s right. If you don’t like, try somewhere else.

    1. Um… states don’t have rights… only individuals do.

      1. The state is made of people that border enforcement.

  22. I’m still waiting for Reason to cover Omar Ameen ( Please tell us how great our refugee screening process is again.

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