Source: Özgecan B. “Sakatlık ve LGBTI hareketleri arasında bir köprü…” (“Bridging Disability and LGBTI movements…”) Radikal Blog, 22 June 2014, http://blog.radikal.com.tr/lgbt/sakatlik-ve-lgbti-hareketleri-arasinda-bir-kopru-64180
Good things happen too!
I have volunteered for various causes and supported many projects, some realized, others not. But this time around, I am excited in an entirely different way and I would like to share it.
It all started with us being involved in the Activism Program conducted by SPoD (Social Policy, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association) in September. As participants in this program, we were expected to break into groups, propose and carry out projects in relation to the LGBT movement. My group decided to work on the issue of “disabled LGBTI individuals”. We were not sure whether we would quickly disengage or actually succeed but to this day, we are actively continuing the Disabled LGBTI project! I have always admired those projects from afar, where you see someone spending time to really improve lives, thinking, “Someone is (thankfully) taking care of this and we have a chance to get involved.” Now we are past that point and I can really say that it is an exceptional feeling to be at the front center of the type of project I used to regard with such admiration…
So let me tell you a little bit about it:
This project, which we hope will be sustainable, aims to conduct research and work on current disability and LGBTI issues that we think may turn into social problems in the future. We organize meetings that focus on the questions of: Which kinds of projects are practically feasible? What must be done to reach an extensive number of people? How may we devise progressive resolutions? It is through these discussions that we develop the project. These efforts are geared to design projects that focus on disabled LGBTI individuals so that the disability movement and the LGBTI movement, which at the moment stand removed from each other, may be bridged.
At first we read up on various issues and conducted discussions on concepts including, “normal,” “loss of ability” and “disability and sexuality.” We engaged with the question of how the term “handicapped” is different from the term “disabled” and looked into social approaches besides medical approaches with regard to disability. We also participated in an awareness study entitled, “Education on Correct Approaches to the Disabled.” At this time, we are working towards conducting weekly meetings/gatherings with disabled LGBTI individuals. We are working with GETEM (Technological and Educational Laboratory for the Visually Disabled) to dub LGBTI related books and we are in the process of contacting the Kadıköy Municipality Center for the Disabled. Finally, we are extremely excited to be holding a Disabled LGBTI panel within the framework of Pride Week!
You can follow our activities through the following links [in Turkish]:
You can also reach us at [email protected], should you wish to participate in our ongoing activities or contact us.