12/04/2023 | Writer: Yıldız Tar

We talked with poet Arzu Bulut, who organized a solidarity campaign to solve her housing problem and continue her HRT and SRS transition process: Solidarity makes us organized, resistant and with gullüm (joy).

“Solidarity is one of the most meaningful actions to be taken against transphobia and capitalism” Kaos GL - News Portal for LGBTI+

“As a Kurdish, trans, lesbian, vegan poet/artist, I desire a life without exploitation for all living beings; and I convey this call for solidarity to be able to solve my homelessness problem which hinders my life, and to be able to attain my rights of safe housing and healthcare.”

These phrases are from the fundraising campaign organized by the poet Arzu Bulut. Bulut, who is unable to find a legal / secure job due to her trans identity and cannot Access safe housing conditions because of financial problems, is also in need of financial security for the continuation of her HRT and SRS transition process.

Nowadays, many trans women are launching solidarity campaigns in order to maintain their lives, and access to necessary hormone and medical attention in their transition process. Financial security includes only one part of the process. On the other hand unemployment and ever increasing economic crisis may lead trans women even not to keep living.

The power of solidarity

We talked to Arzu Bulut on the occasion of the campaign. She said: “I had to start a campaign due to transphobia and patriarchy, that we have known and fought against for centuries.” From Bulut’s perspective being kept out of employment is one of the essential problems:

 “Exclusion of trans and queer people, that is to say everyone who doesn’t fit with the norms of the society, from production relations, their inability to find a job and simultaneously their encounter with deepening transphobia and economic crisis, led us to launch solidarity campaigns in order to survive. Financial solidarity is not the only aim this campaign. Solidarity makes us organized, resistant and with gullüm (funny) against transphobia.

I believe in the power, value and the unique courage of finding each other and being in solidarity in order to survive in such a transphobic society. That is why I launched the campaign. In addition, solidarity is one of the most meaningful actions to be taken against transphobia and capitalism.”

Being the target of violence every single day

Everyone is affected by the economic crisis, however Bulut states that experiences of trans people may be different:

“It may be different in terms of being forced to migrate to some dangerous, unsafe regions for them, in terms of being pointed out as a visible target in a transphobic society by being left homeless / shelterless. And as a result, it differentiates when they become the target of violence every single day…”

The field of arts and culture is a close cry from the other employment areas. Bulut says, “I don’t think that employment areas are open to queers and other marginalized people,” and adds the followings:

“Areas and fields places which are always need to be acquired for queers and marginalized people. And yes today we know and follow many successful queer artists. Just like Cansu Yıldıran, Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu and Şafak Şule Kemancı, whose works I admire. The persistence presence of queer artists in the art, is the reason of their visibility on such a scale today. I think queer artists will be more visible in the future.”

Translation: Selma Koçak

Tags: human rights, women, labour