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ALTHOUGH I could not understand the French, I could hear David’s sadness over leaving his partner even before the words were translated into English.
“He’s saying that sometimes over long distance and long time, love doesn’t maintain itself.”
David is in Australia seeking asylum because he fears if he returns to his home country of Cameroon he will be killed. His male partner still lives there, but David was able to travel to Australia for the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne in July. Like many other delegates from countries hostile to homosexuality, when the conference ended, he stayed.
I met him along with a woman, a friend helping him with his refugee claim and who acted as his interpreter, in a café in Melbourne’s CBD.
David is not his real name. As a prominent activist for gay and sex worker rights in his home country, he is worried if the authorities in Cameroon learn he is seeking asylum here his partner could be put in danger.
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