UCL Department of Geography


Tyler Valiquette

Research Title

Queer Migration in the Periphery: Responses to Venezuelan sexual minority migrants and refugees in Colombia and Brazil

More about Tyler

I have a background in politics, advocacy, and academia. After completing my Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Guelph, in which I was studying queer social movements and countermovements in relation to LGBTQI+ anti-discrimination law in Brazil, I was invited to lecture at the University of Brasilia.

While lecturing at the University of New Brunswick (UnB), I joined several research groups and was connected with Casa Miga, one of the few LGBTQI+ for LGBTQI+ Venezuelan refugee shelters in Latin America. In partnership with Casa Miga and academics from Canada, I  applied and was successful in securing several research grants examining the impact of Covid-19 on queer Venezuelan migrants in Brazil and Colombia. These projects inspired and informed my PhD research at UCL.

In addition to my ongoing research, in 2019, I co-founded Future Majority (now New Majority), a non-profit that organizes and engages GenZs and Millenials to vote on climate in key swing ridings across Canada. Future Majority has become one of Canada’s largest climate advocacy/organizing groups. In 2021, I then co-founded Super Majority, a social incubator that creates programs that engage other key demographics of voters on climate change in swing ridings across Canada.


I teach on the following modules:


Refereed Journal Articles

  • Valiquette, T., Su, Y., (Under review). “Combining Photovoice and Videovoice for Participatory Research: Visual Storytelling with LGBTQ+ Refugees and Migrants”. The Journal of Participatory Research Methods.
  • Su, Y., Valiquette, T., (Under review). “Networks of Queer Migration: A Case Study of the Social Capital of LGBTQ+ Venezuelan Asylum Seekers in Northern Brazil.” Ethnic and Racial Studies. 
  • Su, Y., Valiquette, T., Scheidweiler, G. (2022) "'They kill us Transwomen’: Migration, Informal Labour and Sex Work among Trans-Venezuelan asylum seekers and undocumented migrants in Brazil during COVID-19", The Anti-Trafficking Review, 18.
  • Valiquette, T., Scheidweiler, G., & Su, Y. (2021). “Unwelcomed: Examining Brazil’s Broken Promise to Venezuelan Refugees amid COVID-19”. Humanitarian Alternatives, 18, 104-114.
  • Su, Y., Valiquette, T., & Cowper-Smith, Y. (2021). “Surviving Overlapping Precarity in a “Gigantic Hellhole”: A Case Study of Venezuelan LGBTQI+ Asylum Seekers and Undocumented Migrants in Brazil amid COVID-19”. Statelessness and Citizenship Review, 3(1), 155-162.
  • Cowper-Smith, Y., Su, Y. & Valiquette, T. (2021) “Of masks and fairies: Connecting the mounting threats against LGBTQI+ asylum seekers during COVID-19 in Brazil to anti-gender, anti-gay countermovements.” Journal of Gender Studies.

Book Chapters

  • Valiquette, T., Cowper-Smith, Y., & Su, Y.  (2021). Casa Miga: A transnational asylum for Venezuelan LGBT asylum seekers in Brazil. In Zhou, R. Y. & Goellnicht, D. (Eds.), Sexualities, Transnationalism, and Globalization: New Perspectives. Routledge.
  • Scheidweiler, G., Valiquette, T. (2019) Justiça e Inteligência Artificial: A Reprodução de desigualdades pelas fórmulas algorítmicas. In Sousa, J., Geraldes, E., Maria, L. Internet e Direitos Humanos no Brasil: Cenários e perspectivas. Brasília: Fac Livros.
  • Valiquette, T., Warring, D. (2017) A Tale of Two Congresses: Sex, Institutions and Evangelicals in Brazil and Chile. In Winter, B., Forest, F., Senac, M (Eds), Global Perspective on Same-Sex Marriage: A Neo-Institutional Approach. Palgrave Publishing.

Academic Blogs 

  • Scheidweiler, G., & Valiquette, T. (2023). Jair Bolsonaro lost in Brazil, but his threat to democracy remains. The Conversation.
  • Scheidweiler, G., & Valiquette, T. (2022). Jair Bolsonaro lost in Brazil, but his threat to democracy remains. The Conversation. 
  • Scheidweiler, G., & Valiquette, T. (2022). Another stress test for democracy: The imminent election crisis in Brazil. The Conversation. 
  • Su, Y., Valiquette, T., Greatwick, A., & Robinson, C. (2022). How LGBTQI+ to LGBTQI+ support is helping Ukrainian refugees find safety in the EU. The New Humanitarian. 
  • Greatwick, A., Valiquette, T., Su, Y. (2022). Other Frontlines: how the war in Ukraine is transforming the LGBTQI+ rights landscape in Europe. The Conversation. 
  • Valiquette, T., Su, Y., & Felix, E. (2021). “Inside Out - Re-examining Positionality in Research with LGBTQI+ Refugees.” Geography Directions: Pride in the Field. 
  • Su, Y., & Cowper-Smith Y., Valiquette, T. (2020). “LGBTQI+ Inclusion Lacking in Global Conversations on COVID-19”. Policy Options.
  • Su, Y., & Cowper-Smith Y., Valiquette, T. (2020). “LGBTQI+ face unique challenges during the pandemic.” Policy Options.
  • Valiquette, T., Su, Y., & Felix, E. (2020). “Out of the shadows: the precarious lives of Venezuelan LGBTQI+ asylum-seekers in Brazil''. Overseas Development Institute’s Humanitarian Practice Network.
  • Valiquette, T., Su, Y. (2020) “More Protection Urgently Needed for LGBTQ+ Refugees in Brazil.”  The Conversation.
  • Valiquette, T. , Su., Y., Cowper-Smith, Y (2020). “COVID-19 Is Leaving Refugees Between Borders”. National Observer.
  • Valiquette, T., Su, Y. (2018). “The Rise of Duterte and Bolsonaro: Creeping Authoritarianism and Criminal Populism.” New Mandala. 
  • Valiquette, T. (2018). “In an Era of Increasing Human Mobility, Brazil Lags Behind.” Future Proof Development.
Research Interests

LGBTQI+ Venezuelan migrants are among the most vulnerable groups affected by one of modern history's largest and most understudied crises. Studies on LGBTQI+ refugees often focus on people fleeing an oppressive and heteronormative culture in the Global South to a liberal, gender-equal, and LGBTQI+-friendly society in the Global North.

As such, scholarship on responses to LGBTQI+ migration and displacement has focused on Northern-driven initiatives, institutions, and organizations and the experiences of gender and sexual minority migrants in interacting with various Northern asylum processes, borders, human rights, discrimination, and so on. As such, this research project asks, to what extent are local, grassroots, and community groups better able to respond to the needs of Venezuelan LGBTQI migrants than International Organizations and state institutions?

I aim to apply a methodological triangulation approach to my research by using three different research strategies for data collection in Brazil and Colombia. These strategies include semi-structured interviews, focus groups, and a participant-aided sociogram. This project is important as it disrupts the dominant North-South queer migration narrative, demonstrates how various actors interact in their response to the needs of the LGBTQI+ Venezuelan community, and highlights the unique role of local actors in humanitarian responses.

Research Grants,Prizes and Awards

2021 - Present: Collaborator 
SSHRC Connection Grant ($91,000) York University, Toronto (2021 - present). Safe Expression:

Giving Voice to LGBT Asylum Seekers amid COVID-19 in Brazil.

  • Conceptualized a large knowledge mobilization project involving the use of the method Photovoice to allow Venezuelan refugees to express themselves through photography
  • The creative and large-scale international project has eight partners and spans three countries with four galleries.

Select Academic

  • 2016: Mitacs Globalink Research Award    
  • 2016: University of Guelph Political Science Award        
  • 2016: University of Guelph Academic and Research Achievements Award 
  • 2015: University of Guelph International Development Award 
  • 2015: Dean's Award, College of Social and Applied Human Sciences 
  • 2015 - 2016: LAMBDA Research Scholarship on LGBT rights award 
  • 2015: Richard and Sophia Hungerford Award for academic success

Select Personal

  • 2022: SSHRC Nelson Mandela Award Nominee 
  • 2016: Maclean’s Top 25 at 25
  • 2016: University of Guelph Be the Change Award
  • 2016: Samara Everyday Political Citizen
  • 2016: University of Guelph Gordon Nixon Leadership Award    
  • 2015: University of Guelph Be the Change Award     
  • Social Science and Humanitarian Research Council Doctoral Fellowship (CGS awarded)
  • Next Economy Trust Fellowship