21st İstanbul LGBT Pride Week Begins

tumblr_inline_mounxjDZsH1qz4rgpDear friends,

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans movement has reached its 21st year in Turkey. During the past twenty years, while the movement lived through conflicts, divergences, disputes both in itself and with other social movements, it also endeavoured to build solitarity networks, form alliances and reach the masses.

Last year, twenty thousand of us occupied the streets together for the Istanbul Pride walk. The unifying force behind the walk was the demand for the existence of our sexual identities and sexual preferences in these lands. Today, we reached a point where we witness the existence of LGBT individuals from all walks of life and different forms of resistance methods both at the local and the international levels.

Above everything else, in a society where we are deemed sick, deviant, immoral and culprit by the state authorities and officers, our efforts to voice demands of equality constituted a form of resistance. Despite the gender roles and norms that are reproduced and forced through a hegemonic language even by those from dissident circles, portraying our own gender performances and subjectivities was a form of resistance. Standing against the family, society’s “unique” building block and reproductive heterosexual marriages with the motto “Love is Solidarity” was a mode of resistance. Our coming out as LGBT individuals and our objection against the oppression of compulsory heterosexuality which starts when we are little “children” and intesifies as we are forced to become “students” and “employees” was a resistance. Our bedrooms, fantasies and loves were our resistance. The long hours we spent in front of houses bereft of justice, in solidarity with those defenders of rights who are taken into custody one by one by the authorities who take no precautions whatsoever and who enforced no legal sanctions against the murderers of LGBT individuals was a form of resistance.

For the 21st İstanbul Pride Week which will take place between the 24th and 30th of June 2013, we decided on the theme of “Resistance”. We invite all of you to join us in 21st year of our struggle. Come and join us so that we can, despite our divergences and conflicts, through solidarity and alliances, continue to cherish our differences and experiences, raise our enthusiasm, feel the rhythm and voice our resistance louder and stronger than ever!”

21st Istanbul LGBT Pride Week and March Committee


For further communication: prideistanbul@gmail.com


Here are some photos from our Gay Pride March 2012…

Thousands of people were there last year. We were crowded, louder and stronger than ever.

Please visit our Facebook Page for more detailed photos.


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