The Netherlands are a small country, with a diverse population. There are people with various religions, different skin colours and different political views. However diverse the population may be everyone is equal and discrimination is not allowed. This is considered to be so important that it has been included in the Dutch constitution. In the Netherlands, lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders are part of the population. Where the state is concerned they are citizens like everyone else, and they are not persecuted.
What’s more: it is legally prohibited to discriminate against anyone because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. This means that no woman can be evicted from her home because she is lesbian and that a gay man has access to health care like everyone else. As for the equal rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders the Netherlands are in the forefront. For example, the Netherlands was the first country in the world to allow same-sex marriage. Perhaps you are a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Rest assured that you cannot be discriminated against for this reason and that, should it happen anyway, you can file a report with the police.
If your sexual orientation or gender identity is the reason why you have fled your own country it is crucial that you tell your lawyer and that you share this during your IND interview. If you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender and you don’t explain this during the detailed interview (nader gehoor) at IND, it can have serious consequences for the outcome of your asylum procedure. The people at the IND are obliged to accept you as you are and they are not allowed to treat you any differently. If you find it difficult to talk about this, you can first talk to someone you trust, for example someone at the COA or VluchtelingenWerk Nederland.
What is sexual orientation / gender identity?
A lesbian is a woman who feels physically and/or emotionally attracted to women. A gay man is a man who feels physically and/or emotionally attracted to men. Bisexuals feel physically and/or emotionally attracted to both men and women. These words are used for describing someone’s sexual orientation. A transgender is someone who feels that his or her gender does not match how he or she feels.