09/04/2024 | Writer: Umut Güven

The “Sexual Freedom and the Construction of Justice” event, hosted by Pink Collars, was held in Istanbul on Tuesday, April 2nd, at 19:30. Paul Reynolds led the discussion, addressing the challenges faced by LGBTI+ community in the workplace and within trade union struggle.

“Negotiating sexual freedom is akin to walking a tightrope; it demands careful navigation” Kaos GL - News Portal for LGBTI+

The event commenced with an opening speech by Aylime Aslı Demir. Making reference to Kaos GL’s reports on the situation of LGBTI+s at the workplace, Demir emphasized the significance of union activism and trade union struggle:

“In the realm of life, one of the spaces where our voices are often silenced and we face invisibility is the workplace and working life. At Kaos GL, we endeavor to document the discrimination encountered by LGBTI+ community in both private and public sectors. Despite our efforts to conduct workshops aimed at fostering inclusivity and raising awareness, we are constrained by limited resources. Another formidable challenge lies in our partnership with trade unions. It’s imperative for trade unions to recognize that the pursuit of sexual freedom and equality is not solely the responsibility of civil society organizations, but a collective endeavor. We must work together to shift this mindset.”

“Change is not a unilateral process; those dedicated to freedom are often subject to criticism”

The event proceeded with a speech delivered by Paul Reynolds. Throughout his presentation, Reynolds delved into the intricacies of constructing politics centered around sexual freedom and justice, particularly in environments that are either hostile or indifferent. By shedding light on the evolution of sexual recognition within Western democracies, Reynolds outlined the contemporary challenges confronting movements advocating for sexual rights. He also explored the potential for ongoing transformations leading toward a society that embraces sexual ethics and openness.

“Change is not a unilateral process; those dedicated to freedom are often subject to criticism. It’s crucial to navigate these critiques with care, much like walking a tightrope when it comes to sexual freedom. Despite these challenges, it’s essential to underscore the significance of expanding horizons and strengthening our efforts in this realm. Moreover, we mustn’t overlook the pivotal role of trade unions in this endeavor. From building resources and fostering acknowledgment to establishing safe and politically active environments, organizing campaigns, and promoting equality within the sector, trade unions play a vital role.”

Tags: human rights