We met with Bedi Keskin before the Trans Pride Parade on Sunday, June 21st. Keskin is an Armenian transsexual. In a sense, she is ‘the Other of the Other.’ At 51 years old, Keskin is one of the best stone setters at the Grand Bazaar.
Source: Maral Dink, “Çoğu trans arkadaşım hayatımı kıskanıyor” (“Many of my trans friends are jealous of my life”), Agos, 19 June 2015, http://www.agos.com.tr/tr/yazi/11930/cogu-trans-arkadasim-hayatimi-kiskaniyor
Transsexuals no doubt are at the top of the groups who suffer the most from discrimination, hate, and violence. Therefore, high on the list of topics underlined during the 6th Trans Pride Week that began earlier this week is the demand for hate crime laws. We met with Bedri Keskin before the Trans Pride Parade to be held on Sunday, June 21st. Keskin is an Armenian transsexual. In a sense, she is the Other of the Other. At 51 years old, Keskin is one of the best stone setters at the Grand Bazaar. Having begun her career as a man, she has continued the craft as a woman at the same place, in the male dominated space of the Grand Bazaar. And she has done so together with her brothers, nieces, and nephews. She has made herself accepted with the support of her family and her success in the business. There are many things she holds privately inside her. I asked her what I could and she shared what she could. At the end of our conversation, she said something I will never forget: “You have a life to live; I have a life to achieve.”
Let us begin with the years you began to feel like a woman and decided to become a woman…
You understand it at the age you begin to think. You feel as a child that you are not a boy. Even then, I used to wear my elder sisters’ clothes, use nail polish, and secretly put on lipstick. It was there at birth. I was born with the soul of a woman. I was 28 when I decided to unite my body with my soul. I underwent estrogen therapy for a year and a half, I had laser hair removal. The most difficult period is the transition period. I had surgery when I was 30.