Discrimination From Public Bus Driver: Are You a Woman or a Man?


A bus driver working on the Kadikoy-Uskudar line in Istanbul tried to force a trans male, whose gender identity is recorded as female on his public transportation card, to get off the bus.

Source: “İETT Şöföründen Ayrımcılık: Kadın Mısın Erkek Misin?” (“Discrimination From Public Bus Driver: Are You a Woman or a Man?”) Sol Haber, 29 January 2016, http://haber.sol.org.tr/toplum/iett-soforunden-ayrimcilik-kadin-misin-erkek-misin-144232

Trans male Devrim, who, in the Kadikoy-Uskudar bus that he took today, faced the bus driver’s “Why are you not using your own (public transportation) card?” question. Devrim had to show his driver’s licence in order to have his public transportation card, which had been confiscated by the bus driver, returned to him.

When the driver’s license was shown, the driver said before all of the passengers “I do not take that [the driver’s licence -Trans.] into consideration, it reads on the screen here that you are a woman. Are you a woman or a man?” The driver had to give his licence back, as Devrim stated that he is in the trans transition period and is a judicial case.

Devrim, expressing that all the passengers were listening to them and it was very offensive, commented on this event to soL as follows:

“What we go through today or everyday relates to the binary sex system. We are divided into two, down to even public transportation cards, as per this binary sex system. We as trans people face the same things over and over. Even if we shrug these off individually, we will keep living them in the society. Even if I receive my blue [male] ID card today and have a gender which is consistent in all official records, a trans woman, for instance, will continue being subject to the same things when she receives her pink [female] ID card, just because of her appearance.”

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