Sunday, July 29, 2007

“Neither wrong, nor alone!”

On Sunday, July 1, as part of the 15. Gay Pride Week, the Gay Pride Parade of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transvestites and transsexuals will take place in Istanbul, Beyoğlu. During the parade, which will include numerous foreign and local guests, attention will be drawn to the problems faced by homosexuals.

There are varied pressures and injustices homosexuals face as a discriminated group in all classifications of society, whether these classifications be vertical or horizontal (class, ethnic, sexual, regional). In recent years, their associations are being closed down by regional governors as “against Turkish family values and ethics”. Security forces have made it a systematic practice to use violence against homosexuals in their workplaces, in entertainment venues, even at their residences.

Gay associations see this parade as an important step in establishing basic human rights and democratic participation for lesbians, bisexuals, transvestites and transsexuals.

In liberal circles, when one talks about minorities or groups that are discriminated against because of their identity, homosexuals are being included for some time. But when it comes to taking a political stance, homosexuals of Turkey have been left alone with their problems up to now. This parade where the slogan “neither wrong, nor alone” will be used, might be an important starting point for a shared struggle.

Translated by Deniz Akkuş
Photograph by Sarkis Baharoğlu

June 29, 2007

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