“I Was Reborn”: New Publication by the Counselling Centre for Transgender People Association

T-Der, the Counselling Centre for Transgender People Association, published a new study on transgender individuals’ experiences in Turkey (PDF). The 55-page study, titled “I am Reborn,” focuses on transgender people and employs in-depth interviews in three major cities in Turkey to explore participants’ socialization in childhood and adolescence, their health-related experiences, their encounters with the law, and their expectations from LGBTI organizations and from the study in question. The study also emphasizes the importance of building social support networks for trans individuals in order to better tackle the problems that they encounter.

The full text of the study can be obtained by following this link (in English, PDF) or by emailing the Association via dernek[at]t-der{dot}org (available in English and in Turkish).

Selected Quotes from the study participants

“I was 2,5 years old, some people don’t believe it they say how could I remember my 2,5 age but I remember it because it was the day that I was circumcised, both me and my brother got circumcised. And there is a fact that my brother was crying and I don’t know why, I got so happy, my mother tells so that I was so happy that neither I screamed nor I shouted. Then they put a skirt on me after the circumcision and I really enjoyed wearing that in those ages.” (p. 31)
“There have been peace, happiness. After I started applying the hormone and people started to call me “mister” under the effect of my voice, hair and beard, there was an explosion of self-confidence in me, I have no idea what will happen after I finish the process.” (p. 38)
“I avoid official businesses due to the colour of my identity card. I worked without insurance because of this. When I rented an apartment I gave them a photocopy of my identity card, I think they figured it out though. It wasn’t an easy thing to do. I look young so I need to show my identity (student card) when entering a bar and when I am buying cigarettes.” (p. 45)
“It was around 1 am. I found a cab somehow and we came to Ankara. The driver stole my cell phone and my laptop. Yeah. He took advantage of my condition. My face was all swollen. I was very tired. We got to Ankara around 6-7 in the morning. Anyway, I wanted to file a complaint so I went to the police station. The insults directed to me by police officers were disgusting.” (pp. 48-49)
“These [LGBTI] associations can’t reach out to LGBTI individu- als, in my opinion they fail to communicate, or to cre- ate an intimacy. Maybe this is what these associations lack.” (p. 55)


What is T-DER?

Founded in July 2013 in Turkey, T-DER aims to

  • give advice to transgender people during their transition period,
  • to inform them through the legal, medical and social stages of the transition process,
  • to assist them in getting familiar with their basic rights,
  • to provide a support network for them in order to make the transition process smoother,
  • to report cases of discrimination that occurred during transition process,
  • to lobby for amendment of the current legislation on the transition process, namely the article 40 of the
    Turkish Civil Code.

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