20/10/2021 | Writer: Selma Koçak
SPoD celebrated its 10th anniversary with its team, volunteers, members, stakeholders, LGBTI+ activists, members of parliament, representatives from municipalities, political parties and non-governmental organizations.
Association of Social Policies, Gender Identity and Orientation Studies (SPoD), celebrated its 10th anniversary on Friday, October 1, at France Palace hosted by the Consulate General of France in İstanbul. Association team, volunteers, members, stakeholders, LGBTI+ activists, members of parliament, representatives from municipalities, political parties and non-governmental organizations participated in the closed celebration event.
Treasurer Ali Erdoğan, presented the celebration program and the opening speeches were made by Müge Akbasan, Chairperson of Association, Hatice Demir, General Coordinator for Policies and Melih Ateş, General Coordinator for Financing and Administration.
“Thanks to everyone who shared our persistence”
Müge Akbasan emphasized equal citizenship in her speech:
“Even though we cannot always act shoulder to shoulder when we need and expect solidarity, we believe in the existence of civil society and human rights movement that considers the struggle of LGBTI+s as an inseparable part of the struggle of rights and we get strength from it, we become hopeful. We also know that democracy and social peace cannot be provided excluding equal citizenship for LGBTI+s; and we are aware that gender identity and sexual orientation equality are directly related to the democratization process of Turkey. We press on with our persistence about peace, democracy and rights for everyone while imagining a better country for LGBTI+s. Here and now we thank everyone, all of you for being here and sharing our persistence, you strengthen our struggle.”
“Liberation and hope are not anywhere but us”
Hatice Demir underlined that the queers pinned their hope on each other.
“We all know that Turkey has become more conservative and authoritarian especially in last 10 years. And as result, our lives got difficult in various ways and fields. There is always a question mark in the minds, I am sure you were also been asked: ‘When the violation of rights are going to be over and what if? Should the government or the political system change? Will everything be all right when we join European Union?’ etc..
Surely, each one of these will be effective and meaningful partially on a life with dignity, more equal and more free for LGBTI+s. However I want to emphasize that: Liberation of queers and hope are not anywhere but us. We never pin our hopes upon anyone, but us. As long as we go on fighting we will be able to establish a world more fair, more equal and more free for each of us under the rainbow.”
“We hope that more LGBTI+s benefit from these services”
Finally, Melih Ateş told that they aimed to supply the basic expenses by increasing their own resources and to augment accessible and sustainable collaborations for LGBTI+s, in his speech:
“In the recent period, we move through the priorities outputting from needs analysis and project editing by taking the limits of possible capacity as the basic variable. The institutional sustainability of SPoD might be provided by the financial supports coming from independent and several resources. In the aim of this, we organize fundraising activities, some activities under commercial enterprise and donation and support campaigns. In the long run, we target to supply our basic expenses by increasing our resources. I would like to point out that realizing this at all hands is substantial.
We organized #YürümüyoruzKoşuyoruz campaign at 41st İstanbul Marathon with the individual fundraising workings which we began around two years ago, we go on to produce sustainable models thanks to corporations with the private sector. We wish to maintain uninterrupted service by increasing the sustainable corporations and we hope that more LGBTI+s benefit from these services.”
Following the opening speeches, the celebration went on with the queer performing artists Baby Killa, Willie Ray and Lilith HB. The celebration for the 10th anniversary of SPoD was over with a cocktail party.
Tags: human rights, life