Busy Being Black
Busy Being Black
Nov 28, 2020
Dr S Chelvan: A Future Beyond Labels
Play • 55 min

In this final episode in this series supported by the European Cultural Foundation, I'm in conversation with Dr S Chelvan, a globally recognised legal expert on refugee and human rights claims based on sexual or gender identity and expression. His Difference, Stigma, Shame and Harm (‘DSSH’) model is a positive tool to determine an LGBTQ asylum claim, which is now used globally and is endorsed by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. In 2014, Newsweek Europe described the DSSH model as ‘a simple starting point that cuts across borders’.


We explore Dr Chelvan’s entry point into the UK and into law, and he shares with us his motivations for defending the human rights of LGBTQ asylum-seekers. He discusses his adolescence – a young brown man encountering his sexuality in the age of Section 28, his role as storyteller and translator, the development and importance of the DSSH model and how he’s learned to be human from those he empowers and serves.


This conversation forms part of and concludes a special series funded by the European Cultural Foundation to explore queer Black solidarity across Europe during the Covid-19 crisis. Thank you for investing in our stories.


A special thank you to our newest funding partner, myGwork – the LGBT+ business community. Thank you to our community partners: UK Black Pride, BlackOut UK, The Tenth and Schools Out.

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