Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Turkish Transgender Association Founded

In a tiny article in Bağımsız İletişim Ağı, it has been reported that Turkey's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transvestite and Transsexual Solidarity Association has formally founded a support association called "Pink Life" in Ankara, due to a growing number of attacks and discrimination targeting the country's transgendered community. A quote:
"We will struggle for social, economic, cultural rights but most important
of all, the right to life" a statement by the Association said, noting that
their purpose was to support the participation of alternative genders in social
peace, calamity and prosperity with their social and cultural life as well as
behaviour.

The statement particularly referred to violent attacks on transgender
individuals in recent times in İstanbul, Bursa and several district of Ankara
saying "we don't want to watch this violence".

Pink Life's statement said "sex work", for which transsexuals and
transvestites are regularly blamed by the mainstream media, "is not a fate" and
that the Association wants to draw attention to the fact that no one cares for
the problems of people with an alternative gender being forced to work in the
sex industry.

I think what they're saying rings true for many countries in the Middle East. I always hear rumors connecting transgendered people with prostitution, and I know enough transgendered people to say that they're often false. When it's true, it's often because it's extremely difficult for them to find employment elsewhere, due to intense discrimination.

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