17/11/2014 | Writer: Buket Kaya

Screening of an LGBTI documentary called ‘My Child’ brought hundreds of people together in the city of Kocaeli in Turkey.

Screening of an LGBTI documentary called “My Child” brought hundreds of people together in the city of Kocaeli in Turkey.
Organized by Kocaeli LGBTI Initiative, Women’s Labor Collective and Education and Science Workers’ Union (Egitim-Sen) Kocaeli Branch Office, the screening welcomed “Families of LGBTs in Istanbul” (LISTAG), which appears on the movie, as guest speakers on Saturday evening at Izmit Public Education and Culture Center.
The families had a dinner at Egitim-Sen before the screening and talked with the members of Kocaeli LGBTI Initiative on LGBTI visibility in the city and families’ stance regarding the issue. The families also distributed LISTAG brochures they brought.  
Hall for 400 people was not enough
As the hall with a capacity of 400 people was completely full before the screening despite the adverse weather conditions and additional seats, some participants had to watch the documentary standing.
Nazli Ulutepe from Egitim-Sen Kocaeli Branch Office said that the education in Turkey is getting more and more conservative and that it is homophobic, underlining that Egitim-Sen will fight the situation.
Muserref Ubuz from Women’s Labor Collective emphasized that LGBTI and women struggles are in solidarity with each other and that they will resist all forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
“Time to take off heteronormative masks!”
The most theatrical speech was given by a member of Kocaeli LGBTI Initiative who came up on the stage with beard and make-up. The person told LGBTI people forced to live with masks all through the years started to throw away these masks and to get involved in the fight to leave their oppressed lives.
Stating that not all babies, love, art and life are heterosexual, the person addressed the audience: “It is your turn to take off the heteronormative masks that the system forcefully put on you, it is your turn to fight discrimination hand in hand with us.”
After the speech, a minute of silence was dedicated to people excluded, pushed to commit suicide or murdered because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Following the screening came the Q&A session with the families. LISTAG families got a loud applause and expressed their gratitude. People with various occupations and students talked about the movie’s contribution in their lives and sought an answer to how they can fight discrimination in their fields of work. The event ended with participants clapping and cheering with slogans.  
Photo credit: Mursel Coban
Translation: LGBTI News Turkey 

Tags: human rights, family