Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

#LGBTQ: Indian transexual facing deportation from the UK

An Indian transsexual has appealed the UK government to grant him asylum saying he will face discrimination at home if he is deported, the BBC reports.

Sameer Neelam, who was born as a female, is said to have been a prominent public sector official in Hyderabad before fleeing to Bradford to seek asylum.

He was reportedly exposed after being found living in private as a man with another woman.

Mr Neelam told BBC North that he had faced “violence and harassment” after being “outed” by the Indian media. Sameer Neelam, who was born female but lived in secret as a male, said he suffered violence and harassment after being "outed" by the Indian media.

He now faces being deported to India after the Home Office rejected his claim.

Mr Neelam said that he enjoys “being himself” in the UK and fears that he will be “tortured and discriminated” if he is returned to India.

"Here I'm considered as what I am. In India I can't dress like this. Nobody counts me as a man.

"If I open myself as a man in India I will be looked down on, tortured, discriminated, eliminated."

"I can't even get a job if I started living as a man there.  I'm enjoying my life as a man and if somebody calls me 'Mr' or says 'he' I feel energetic."

According to government guidelines on asylum applications from transsexuals an applicant "may claim asylum when he or she fears persecution on account of his or her actual or perceived gender identity which does not, or is deemed not to, conform to prevailing political, social or cultural norms in his or her country of origin."

A spokesperson for the Home Office told BBC North: "The UK has a proud history of granting asylum to those who need it and applications are carefully considered before a decision is made.

"It would be inappropriate to comment further while legal proceedings are ongoing."

Whilst the rights of members of India’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities have improved markedly in recent years, individuals face widespread discrimination and violence, particularly in regions outside big cities.

Mr Neelam is expected to find out whether he will be deported in the coming days.

- Image courtesy of BBC North



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