21/06/2011 | Writer: KAOS GL
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transvestite and transsexual individuals celebrate the 19th Pride Week from 20-26 June in Istanbul. The event kicked off with the second Trans Pride March on Sunday. It comes right after the gay rights resolution passed by the UN Human Rights Council.
The 19th LGBTT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transvestite and Transsexual) Pride Week kicked off this Monday (20 June) in Istanbul. Workshops, discussions, movies, a concert and a picnic will be held until 26 June. "Breaking Taboos" is this year’s theme of the Pride Week which also includes the "Hormone-fed Tomato" Award ceremony and that will culminate in the Pride March on Istiklal Avenue.
Topics to be discussed during the week are homophobia and transphobia, social gender roles and the institutionalized family, policies that discipline the body and determine a certain identity, a male-dominated urban organization and urban transformation and policies that pander to discrimination and hate.
The 7th "Hormone-fed Tomato" Award will be given to a person or an institution that excelled at homophobic or transphobic behaviour throughout the past year. The winner will be determined by an internet poll.
Trans Pride March
The Trans Pride March was held for the second time this year. On Sunday (19 June), hundreds of people walked down Istiklal Avenue in the popular district of Takism/Beyoğlu to draw attention to oppression, violence and discrimination against trans individuals and to demonstrate their solidarity with them.
bianet talked to lawyer Yasemin Öz who attended the Trans Pride March. She underlined the importance to march down this very avenue: "Transsexuals are always being drawn to ghettos in Beyoğlu; they hide in the streets. They encounter violence and discrimination on the very same street we are walking down right now. It is very important that we are able to have such a huge event right here. The large number of participants shows that we can change something in Turkey".
Asya, an LGBTT individual living in Istanbul, claimed, "We step up against the violence and the discrimination we experienced from the state, the society and the police. This year’s trans march was very good. We, as transgender/transsexual people, can easily express ourselves; we have our associations and organizations. We all want is justice. I am paying taxes in this country and I am a citizen of this country. This country should give my pride back to me".
Also a group of people from Kuwait attended the trans march. They came to Turkey to join the Trans Pride March in particular because there was no Pride March in their own country.
Various LGBTT organizations issued press releases at the end of the Trans Pride March.
UN Human Rights Council passed gay rights resolution
On 17 June, the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council passed a resolution to counteract discrimination and violence against LGBTT individuals. The resolution came on the final day of the council’s 19th session and envisages a study into violence and discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity.
The Human Rights Council has 43 member states. The resolution passed with a relatively narrow majority of 23 to 19 votes. Three countries abstained from voting.
The resolution was submitted by South Africa. While the decision was supported by the USA, the European Union, Brazil and other Latin American countries, support was refused byNigeria and other African and Islam countries because, in their opinion, it was not related to human rights.