24/05/2014 | Writer: Kaos GL
Organizing the 9th International Anti-Homophobia Meeting, Kaos GL will welcome the upcoming May 17 Week with its ‘Foundation’.
Organizing the 9th International Anti-Homophobia Meeting, Kaos GL will welcome the upcoming May 17 Week with its “Foundation”.
Establishing the regional networks with reference to homophobia as a global issue, Kaos GL aims to help the fact that LGBT rights are fundamental human rights to develop and institutionalize.
Statement released by Kaos GL on the occasion of International Anti-Homophobia Day and declaring the establishment of May 17 Foundation is as follows:
May 17, International Anti-Homophobia Day, is the day to protest and stand against all physical, moral or symbolic violence types aimed at Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation.
Kaos GL, striving against discrimination related to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, has been organizing International Anti-Homophobia Meetings against homophobia and trans-phobia on every May 17 week since 2006.
Struggling for improvement of human rights of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans) individuals, Kaos GL aims to create a platform which will facilitate provide visibility and discussion environment about discrimination aimed at LGBT individuals.
As a meeting to which everyone who wishes to discuss LGBT issues and homophobia and to help liberation of homosexuals and heterosexuals together may participate, International Anti-Homophobia Meeting has gotten beyond Ankara limits and is spreading all over the cities in Turkey.
Why Does Kaos GL Organize the Meeting?
In addition to executing the coordination of the Meeting, Kaos GL has been carrying out activities in social, cultural and academic fields for improvement of LGBT human rights since the beginning of 90’s.
On 2005, Kaos GL became an official association with the registered name “Kaos Gay and Lesbian Cultural Researches and Solidarity Organization” and has been continuing its efforts and struggle for LGBT rights since.
With Meeting against Homophobia and Trans-phobia, Kaos aims to create a platform to discuss and provide visibility to discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans (LGBT) individuals in Turkey.
Kaos GL wishes for an environment in which thoughts about a world in which LGBT and heterosexual individuals would become free together would be shared and discussed.
Efforts for developing association of LGBT community and freedom of expression are becoming widespread with Meeting against Homophobia.
Kaos GL is also in solidarity with LGBT’s in other cities to help them to establish their own organizations.
Kaos GL works to provide visibility to human rights of LGBT’s. And for this purpose, it carries out joint works with many national and international organizations from women’s organizations to human rights organizations.
As a result of all these joint works and of the networks established within the context of fight against discrimination, International Meeting against Homophobia is spread to the locals.
Regional Network against Homophobia
Kaos GL took a new step in 2011 in the context of International Anti-Homophobia Meeting and brought homophobia and trans-phobia opponents from Caucasia, Middle East and the Balkans together.
In its declaration of will and struggle definition, Kaos GL stated the “Middle East and Balkan Countries Homosexuals Conference” as a dream. One of the main forums of the Meeting which continues since 2006 has been “International Experiences in Fight against Homophobia”. Kaos GL established an LGBT network between North Africa, Middle East, Caucasia and Balkan Countries and is planning to cooperate with LGBT organizations in international fields to generate and spread policies and to cooperate in regional responses in addition to continuing the coordination of such network.
Whose Problem / Issue is Homophobia?
Kaos GL adapted the May 17, International Anti-Homophobia Day, within “Meeting against Homophobia” program in Turkey and asks the question, “whose issue is homophobia?”. It tries to make connections between different discriminations. And it aims to make horizontal nets between struggle practices against such discriminations and freedom efforts.
When Kaos GL pointed out the connections between sexism, nationalism, racism and militarism; “whose issue is homophobia?” question was adopted by different fractions of academy and civil society. Thus, student groups and non-governmental organizations which wanted to be organized in their cities and campuses by adapting the Meeting against Homophobia to their own struggles appeared. As a result, homophobia issue can be discussed in cities and campuses in which LGBT’s are not visible yet.
Why From May 1st to May 17th
Acting with the “request for freedom and fight for freedom must be collective” motto, Kaos GL builds bridges between freedom fights from May 1st to May 17th.
My 1st is a significant milestone with regard to LGBT struggle in Turkey. In 2001, Kaos GL joined the celebrations in Ankara and made its first public appearance; pointed out the fact that labor struggle and LGBT struggle were common struggles with its rainbow flags and slogans. Meeting against Homophobia as well develops as a part of freedom struggle. Kaos GL wishes that the struggles against attacks and discriminations LGBT’s face will merge and fields of struggle will extend through the bridges to be built.
Institutionalization of LGBT movement and fights for rights in the world brought new initiatives. However, in spite of various rights gained largely in West, homophobia and trans-phobia continues to pose a problem on a global scale. With the call of International Day against Homophobia (IDAHO) to step into action and go out due to such reason, Meeting against Homophobia overlaps from May 1st to May 17th.
Almost Quarter of a Century Passed since May 17th, 1”990
Even though almost quarter of century passed since May 17th, 1990, the day on which United Nations World Health Organization removed homosexuality from “International Disease Classification”, stigmatization and discrimination aimed at homosexuals still continue. Discrimination against homosexuals not only cause ostracism of homosexuals by restricting access to health services in Turkey as well as in many regions in the world, but also deprives LGBT’s of their basic human rights. Above all, discrimination due to sexual orientation and gender identity might show itself in the form of violence and hate crime/killing. While homosexuality is considered as a “crime” in many regions of the world, homosexuals are treated as “criminals without crimes” in Turkey. Since Turkish Republic doesn’t recognize LGBT reality, no legal measures are taken to prevent annihilation of LGBT’s who are deprived of their basic human rights with hate murders.
May 17th against Discrimination!
As it is also reflected in European Union reports issued every year, Turkish LGBT associations demand prohibition of discrimination due to sexual orientation and gender identity with the equality request.
LGBT organizations demand addition and clear identification of “sexual orientation and gender identity” terms into the non-discriminative platforms defined in “Equality Before the Law” article of Turkish Constitution as well as addition and clear identification of “sexual orientation and gender identity” terms into all regulations which include “Equality Principle and Prohibition of Discrimination”.
With the occasion of International Anti-Homophobia Day, May 17 Foundation will follow evaluation of demands of Turkish LGBT organizations regarding anti-discrimination and execution of the related regulations as immediate as possible!
Establishing networks from local to regional with reference to the fact that homophobia is a global issue, Kaos GL will improve the fact that LGBT rights are basic human rights and institutionalize them with May 17 Foundation.