Yıldız Tar, “Amirim, LGBT’ler barış eylemi yapıyor ne yapalım?” (“Captain, the queers are conducting a peace demonstration; what shall we do?”) Kaos GL, 06 September 2014, http://www.kaosgl.com/sayfa.php?id=17470
We discussed Zeugmadi LGBTI’s first year with Cemre: “We are organizing in the neighborhoods referred to as slums. With Zeugmadi, I feel that I am becoming free. Wherever there are LGBTI people, that is where we too must be. It is not just an LGBTI issue; hatred of Syrians is our issue as well.”
The September 1st, 2014 World Peace Day demonstration
Quite some time has passed since Kaos GL began to organize activities in a number of cities, calling them “Local Steps Against Homophobia”. Beginning with a few cities, the activities have spread all over Turkey. The slogan “We don’t want the ghettos, we want the whole city” has begun to be realized.
With the establishment of LGBTI organizations in a number of cities, especially in recent years, the perception that the fight against heterosexism is confined to Beyoğlu has been demolished. One of these organizations, called Zeugmadi, began about one year ago in the southeastern city of Gaziantep. Using in its logos the emblem of Antep, a Gypsy girl whose sex is barely perceptible, Zeugmadi LGBTI has said throughout the year: “We’re in Antep, buddy.”
Painting Antep’s streets with the colors of the rainbow, Zeugmadi LGBTI hosted a series of activities in honor of its first year. The culmination of these activities, however, was its participation in a September 1st World Peace Day gathering, on the anniversary of Antep’s LGBTI organizations’ coming out on the street.
While the LGBTI community, on the one hand, were marching to their slogan “Homosexuals will not be silent”, the police walkie-talkies were not silent at all. We heard police say, through their walkie-talkies as they were standing just beyond the journalists who were following the story, the question “Captain, these queers are conducting a peace demonstration. What shall we do?” Zeugmadi LGBTI was not the only one organizing the demonstration. Nevertheless, one of the gathering’s most enthusiastic and sizable groups was the LGBTI participants.
After the demonstration, upon a invitation by İlkyaz Şikayetçileri (“Spring Malcontents”), the stairways of Yeşilsu were painted with the colors of the rainbow. At one point, the shopkeepers nearby joined in the painting effort. A one-year organized effort has carried the freedom march one step forward.