Bookstore shelves to be purified of homophobia

Source: Çiçek Tahaoğlu, “Kitapçıların Rafları Homofobiden Arınıyor.” (“Bookstore shelves to be purified of homophobia.”) Bianet, 20 October 2014,

The Lambdaistanbul Mental Health Commission is meeting with bookstores in order for books which argue that homosexuality is an illness and that LGBTI people need to be treated to be taken off of their shelves.  It also has a call for activists.

The Mental Health Commission of the Lambdaistanbul LGBTI Solidarity Foundation initiated a project in order to prevent the selling of homophobic and transphobic health books.

Contacting bookstores, the Commission is working towards getting psychology and psychiatry books which argue that homosexuality is an illness and that LGBTI people should be treated to be taken off of the shelves.

Psychologist Özge Güdül states that the sale of such unethical books and the erroneous practices which culminate from these books are hurting LGBTI individuals, despite the fact that it has been proven in the field of mental health that homosexuality is not an illness, nor a mental or an emotional defect.

Güdül, who says that “bookshops are not under obligation to sell each and every book by a publisher with which they have an agreement,” explains that they are contacting bookstores selling such books by mail or in person.

The project had its first success with the removal of “Restoration Therapy,” a book on the treatment of homosexuality, from the shelves by Kabalcı’s Kadıköy branch. There were of course many bookstores that refused to remove the book.

Lambdaistanbul is calling for everyone who defends LGBTI rights to report books that argue homosexuality and transsexuality to be illnesses to them, by emailing the books’ title and author as well as the name and branch of the bookstore where it is being sold to danisma at lambdaistanbul dot org.

The Commission is also planning to prepare and freely distribute a book that will replace such books on the bookshelves and that provides correct information about sexual orientations and identities.

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