UK: Indian trans asylum seeker fears deportation could lead to ‘torture’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A trans man who fled to the UK from India has said he will face “torture” at home if he is forced to be deported.

Sameer Neelam, who was “outed” in Indian media, said he originally wanted to take his own life before finding asylum in Bradford, northern England.

According to BBC Look North, however, he now faces deportation back to India where he fears he will be “looked down on, tortured, discriminated,” or even “eliminated.”

“I can’t even get a job if I started living as a man there,” he said.

He was previously a leading local official in Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh, where he pressured to live publicly as a woman.

He added: “Here I’m considered as what I am. In India I can’t dress like this. Nobody counts me as a man.

“I’m enjoying my life as a man and if somebody calls me ‘Mr’ or says ‘he’ I feel energetic.”

A spokesperson for the Home Office has said: “Britain 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.”

Last week, hundreds of gay rights activists marched through the streets of New Delhi in a demand to end LGBT stigmatisation and discrimination in India.

Campaigners urged for an end to all forms of discrimination, as well as demanding that trans people be allowed to record their gender in the national census, voter identity cards, and other government documents.