30/03/2017 | Writer: Yıldız Tar
Ilgın and Zafer from newly established LGBTI initiative in Manisa, 7 KAT, told us the story of the initiative:
Ilgın and Zafer from newly established LGBTI initiative in Manisa, 7 KAT, told us the story of the initiative: Everything starts with a dream!
7 KAT (abbreviation of 7 Belts Research Community a reference to rainbow in Turkish: 7 Kuşak Araştırma Topluluğu) in middle Aegean city Manisa got involved in the LGBTI community struggling against homophobia, transphobia, discrimination and violence.
Ilgın and Zafer told us about the initiative which hosted Kaos GL’s Meeting against Homophobia few days ago.
Workshops, interviews, movie screenings…
Reminding that they started to gather together in the beginning of 2016 and had their first meeting on December 3, Ilgın told that before being an initiative they have had regular meetings and they organized movie screenings, workshops, etc.
What is the situation of LGBTIs in Manisa?
Stating that Manisa is a small city in Turkey, Zafer told that along with the intolerance of the Turkish society in general, here they are exposed to peer pressure as well. However, thanks to the effects of the university youth those general prejudices have been decreasing, and taking even small steps on this way of emancipation are precious, Zafer said.
“When Kaos GL was here, one of my friends from Manisa told me: ‘It is a perfect feeling to see a rainbow flag in the city where once upon a time I asked myself what am I’” Zafer continued.
“Everything starts with a dream!”
Then he explained their further steps:
“We are trying to complete our internal trainings and to contact with other organizations which can support us with trainings, presentations and workshops. By the time when we became more in number and break the prejudices one by one, we will plan different projects and activities for sure. For example, during the big seminars in the university why do not we take the stage and tell ourselves and phobias? Or after 5-6 years why do not we organize a Pride March here in Manisa? We know nothing is impossible and everything starts with a dream!”
Saying that they will use the advantage of Manisa’s location where is so close to İzmir which has a long queer struggle history, and benefit from the experiences of the organizations based in İzmir, Zafer continued:
“Because we know how important are being together and solidarity. This year we will support İzmir Pride, for example. We hope that we will achieve so many good things. We are here for a World where is more libertarian, respectful and the most importantly for a peaceful.”
“7 KAT is my dream!”
“7 KAT is my dreams. During the 23rd Youth Counsil of TOG, I firstlt met Kaos GL and firstly participated in a workshop about LGBTIs. Then when I got back to Manisa, I could not find enough support to form such initiative. But now in 2017 it is so beautiful to see this new initiative. Our meetings and activities are going well, and we are growing slowly.”
Translation: Damla Umut Uzun