Journalist and LGBT activist Yıldız Tar talked to bianet about the newly released book Comrade, I am a Faggot and the perception of socialist organizations on the LGBT movement.
Journalist Yıldız Tar’s book Comrade, I am a Faggot: The Left’s Perception of the LGBT Movement has been published by Ceylan Publishing House. Tar answered Bianet’s questions, stating that the LGBT and leftist organizations had close contacts for the first time during the Gezi Resistance and that this encounter affected all of them Tar also adds that they have to face up to our existence and cause. Those who cannot embrace the LGBT movement will end up in history’s trash bin.
There is a new LGBT entity in Turkey: Hêvî LGBTI. The activists of Hêvî talk about the first and only Kurdish LGBT association in Istanbul…
“The experience of sharing during the Gezi Resistance, that solidarity, and people truly embracing each other made us hopeful for a humane and mutual life,” says Asya as she explains why they named the first and only Kurdish LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex) initiative in Istanbul as Hêvî LGBTI. “Hêvî” is Kurdish for “hope.”
Hêvî LGBTI Initiative was founded by a group of friends who met in the LGBT Block during the Gezi Resistance. They established the initiative formally on 1 September 2013, coinciding with the World Peace Day. However, the real founding day is 22 September 2013 when the manifesto was declared. One of the activists, Asya, is from Diyarbakır, the others are from Mardin, Siirt, and Van… But, it would be wrong to assume that Hêvî LGBTI Initiative is composed only of Kurdish people. Hêvî LGBTI Initiative concentrates on geography rather than ethnicity. There are Turkish activists among them as well.
The Democratic Party of the People (HDP) Beyoğlu Co-President and LGBTI activist Levent Pişkin states that they will educate all of their candidates about LGBTI politics for the local elections.
Pişkin emphasizes that they will develop an understanding of LGBTI friendly municipalities. He says, “We hope we will have an LGBT mayor” in response to remarks by Ankara mayor Melih Gökçek who said, “I hope we will not have a homosexual mayor.”
With the forthcoming local elections the Democratic Congress of the People (HDK) and the Democratic Party of the People (HDP) started to work on an LGBTI commission.The HDK/HDP called out to LGBTIs to organize in a joint meeting with LGBTI organizations and activists.
Levent Pişkin, the Co-President of HDP Beyoğlu and LGBTI activist, talked to ETHA about the issue and stated that they activated the commission in order to effectively create LGBTI policies.
Hêvî LGBTI Initiative: “It was necessary to form an entity in Istanbul that can call out to Kurdistan and so here we are.”
Hêvî LGBTI Initiative announced its foundation on September 22, 2013 by holding a press conference. The initiative’s manifesto was read both in Turkish and Kurdish. Hêvî announced that its main working issue will be “the specific problems of Kurdish LGBTI people living in Turkey.”
“The contribution of LGBTIs to a stable peace is responsibility”
Hêvî Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex (LGBTI) Initiative announced its foundation by holding a press conference at the offices of the Democratic Congress of People (HDK) Beyoğlu District Organization. Hêvî activists Asya Elmas, Rosi Da, Mehmet Umut, Ceylan and Cem Emre Gutay led the meeting. Cem Emre Gutay and Asya Elmas read the initiative’s manifesto in Turkish. The manifesto states that the initiative was formed by a group of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex people who met at the LGBT Block in Gezi Park during the Gezi Resistance.
The word Hêvî is “hope” in Kurdish and Hêvî aims to create and spread hope among LGBTI people.