Source: Çiçek Tahaoğlu,“Erkekliği Kutsanmayan Trans Erkekler,”(“Trans Men Whose Manhood are Unblessed,”), 15 February 2014, Bianet.org, http://bianet.org/biamag/lgbtt/153490-erkekligi-kutsanmayan-trans-erkekler
“Of course FTM transition is not blessed. First of all, it is shameful in this country to not (be able) to fit the stereotypical gender roles. You are “a lesser man,” “a parvenu, an upstart” as it were, to put it crudely.”
With the Gezi resistance, society came out to LGBTI people and LGBTI people came out to society. The “get used to it, we are here” slogans worked to a great extent.
But the taboos, the confusion, and the meetings continue. For example in the issue of trans men, people say “How does that work?” “So you can transition from women to men?” “Are there really any trans men in Turkey?” “Even if there are, the numbers must be low and it must be a unique situation…”
Yes, there are trans men in Turkey. They even have a trans men’s information site called Transsick-o and it will soon mark its first year online.
The numbers are not as low as you think. The closed facebook user group called T Kulüp started out with 30 people but has now reached 215 and membership is increasing.
The group’s communication coordinator Berk said, “Twelve years ago there was There was a trans man activist but he was the only one. Voltrans was formed in 2008. T Kulüp is only a new beginning.” He goes on to say, “There is a feeling of ‘I think I am the only person like this in the world’ that every trans man goes through; it’s a terrible loneliness, one that cannot be understood without living through it.” This is how the group gets larger.
Berk says, “We share information and our troubles; there is friendship, solidarity, and support. There are people from all ages, social classes and beliefs. This solidarity entails everything from following each other’s hospital documents to supporting each other when feeling melancholic. We know if a surgeon operates badly, if a hospital undertakes any practices that are against the law. Solidarity and friendship are prioritized. We want to be active participants in the transformation of legal and medical procedures in order to make these practices better. We want our voices to be heard.”
So who are these trans men? What do they do? How does the gender reassignment process work? Are they open in their social lives? Is the transformation to being a man in Turkey a blessed thing or is it a cause for discrimination? What are the most common problems in their daily lives?