Just to spite traditional family norms, honor, morality and taught gender roles, trans individuals have always managed to sustain their life as part of culture and history, and they still can today.
Trans people, who always have had to defend their identity against societal taboos and hatred in every part of the world, have learned to become stronger against their most fundamental rights being seized by the system.
They have always existed
Some of them have hidden on cold stages every sleepless night under spotlights, some with their naked bodies in the fantasies of hungry breaths, some in the closets inside the vast bottomless wells in which they are desolated. Some have bowed to patriarchy, to family, and some have hidden in other lives. Some others have chosen life, love, and to struggle against hatred.
They managed to become one with all the colors of the rainbow; gays, lesbians, bisexuals, trans and intersex people, and LGBTIs have existed throughout history and will continue to exist in the future.
Conventional morality and social norms stemming from habits from the past have hindered the access of all queer people, especially trans people, to their most fundamental right to live. They have been deprived of many rights, including the right to shelter, work, life, education, and health.
The police, the state and the media
Life has become much more challenging for trans individuals, especially since the period of time since the September 12, 1980 coup in Turkey. Violence has become a part of daily life, especially for trans women, who are more visible.
They were not able to walk on the street like any other citizen, nor were they able to exist in any space in life. Trans women were stuck in the triangle of the police, the state and the media.
Trans women have lost their lives in various ways. Some of them lost their lives due to male and police violence on the highways during sex work, into which they were forced to since their right to work was blocked by the system. Some lost their lives due to the torture they were subjected to at police stations or due to headlines like “transvestites spread terror” in the media.
Everyone has remained silent
Politicians, journalists, intellectuals, litterateurs, revolutionaries, women, men: in short, everyone has remained silent about trans murders. In time, the silent scream of trans women has grown bigger and bigger and has turned into an insurgency with the Ülker Sokak resistance.
Since that day, trans individuals have never remained silent. They discovered that they are stronger when they are together and they have learned to carry out an organized struggle against the system, male violence and hatred towards their most fundamental right to live.
Now they shout out loud; “Live just to spite hatred”, “Women are strong when they are together!”.
The legal fight against rights violations, homicides and violence has moved the trans fight to another level. Even though men who are the subjects of violence get good behavior remission in the court, trans individuals have learned to exercise their constitutional rights to the fullest over time.
Hande and Eylül
The suspected murderers of trans people were caught at times, and at other times the files were sent to rusty shelves to be placed among the unsolved murder cases.
Ending her life by jumping off the Bosphorus Bridge, the closing of Eylül Can’s case is an example to this. Or not launching an investigation to find the perpetrators of Hande Kader’s murder, who was slaughtered by being burned.
Sometimes investigations are completed and the legislative process begins, but the judges in the courts render transphobic verdicts. The results obtained by some people or institutions that turn rights violations into international campaigns can be gratifying. Justice is a bottomless well despite all those criminal complaints and investigations.
Stories of three trans women
We share the stories of three trans women in the file “Trans Individuals”. One tells how she built a career by receiving an education at the most prestigious schools, and another one explains how she was pushed into sex work because of male violence and social pressure.
The other shares how she combatted violence and hatred by adding her disability identity to her trans identity, and how she could exist in the political arena.
The common message of these three trans women is “first human rights and social peace”. We dedicate this file to all trans individuals who are massacred due to male and state violence. (MD-EU/NU/HK)
UNEMPLOYED JOURNALISTS CHASING NEWS
* The "Unemployed Journalists Chasing News" project is being realized with the financial support of Matra-Human Rights Program of Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.