SPoD Calls for Solidarity

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For the movement empowered from its grassroots…

 

The LGBTI+ movement in Turkey has created itself out of nothing by overcoming many obstacles and bans since its first acts of resistance, demonstrations and countless meetings to this day in a very short time.

Although today some of these bans are still in effect, we all know that against the ever-so powerful demand for freedom arising from our grassroots, they will not last for long.

Today our movement has grown beyond solely evolving a protectionist language defending our already existing rights and moved into a territory where we now demand new rights for the LGBTI+ community. We are now creating a language for a movement that no longer only demands protection from the state, but calls for affirmative action for LGBTI+’s specific needs, necessary additional measures, and even new institutions, and to this end works in cooperation with many organizations and institutions, offers exemplary solutions, thus shaping and leading the way in the fight for democracy and human rights in Turkey.

 

To stand on our own feet…

At this stage in our struggle as the LGBTI+ movement, we need to develop a sustainable and tangible model of solidarity that moves beyond solely standing side-by-side during demonstrations, meetings and events so that we are able to keep our community as LGBTI+s together and connected, to protect and maintain what we have achieved so far, and to make our fight and work sustainable.

Our LGBTI+ organizations, which until now have come a long way with the financial support from institutions that in most cases are not subjects within the LGBTI+ movement, now possess the capacity and sufficiency to carry out most of their work with the financial support coming only from our grassroots.

If lesbian, gay, bi+sexual, trans*, intersex, queer people, and anyone who does not consider themselves a part of the heteronormative gender binary – especially those who reside in big cities in Turkey – contribute even a small sum regularly to organizations that assure the sustainability of the LGBTI+ movement, we believe that our movement will make a fast and considerable progress.

 

To build the accountable and transparent organizations together…

Many of us who are a part of and believe in the LGBTI+ movement have been hesitant to provide any financial support until now due to the perceived shortcomings in terms of transparency and accountability practices of the organizations. It should be acknowledged that the reason why people in Turkey are not as willing as those living in the western democracies to become members of organizations is not only due to a lack of democratic awareness in society. It is also related to the lack of effort on the organizations’ part.

However, today, many of our organizations in the LGBTI+ movement, fueled by the grassroots demands for accountability, have made significant progress in this area, and to this end now provide regular updates and briefings on their finances. Still, despite the remarkable improvements, we are fully aware that we need to make more and constant effort in this respect as an organization.

 

We are aware of our own potential!

We know that, only by looking at all the Pride Parades, there are tens of thousands of people who understand, support and embrace our fight and movement, and a small but regular support offered by them can not only help today’s organizations survive, but also increase their work potential by many folds.  

In countries like ours, where there is no governmental support for human rights advocacy and social organization and solidarity, the fight for our rights and survival of non-governmental organizations can only be possible through small contributions from the people who comprise the base of social movements.

Like anywhere else in the world, the LGBTI+ movement in Turkey has a more powerful base than many sections of society assume, and it is now vital that our base is in a systematic communication with the organizations and institutions of the movement.

 

It is time to merge our voluntary labor with our stable financial support

Therefore, we invite everyone who is dedicated to the LGBTI+ movement to support our cause so that the movement and what it has already achieved so far can be maintained.

We now want that whenever and wherever we talk about the LGBTI+ movement, it will be known that the word of the movement reflects and expresses the ideas of tens of thousands of people who provide regular financial support to it, even if not being actively engaged in the day-to-day efforts.

We now want the demands of our movement to be expressed in meetings and events organized not only through sponsoring institutions, but also thanks to the small support and contributions by many people, thus enabling the LGBTI+ movement to gain financial political strength from those with the actual demands.

We now want no one to have doubts regarding the independence and autonomy of the LGBTI+ movement, so that the organizations can stand on their own with their members and supporters.

We want that those who work – paid or voluntarily – tirelessly at more than 30 LGBTI+ organizations spread across Turkey today, can look behind and see that they are not alone.

Those who consult LGBTI+ organizations due to anxieties surrounding their coming out; who have been subject to violence due to working as a sex worker; who encounter difficulties during their transition process; seeking support due to the discrimination they face in health services; who have been subject to abusive treatment during the military recruitment process; who have been fired from their job due to being a LGBTI+ person – in short those who have been robbed of their social, cultural and economic rights, including their right to live, by being exposed to discrimination and hate crimes, and those who have been denied their right to an equal citizenship due to their gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation should know LGBTI+ movement in Turkey has independent grassroots organizations and institutions that have the capacity to assist LGBTI+s to empower themselves. 

 

We have lots of work ahead!

Let’s look out for and support our organizations, and assure their financial sustainability via regular payments or other regular contributions ourselves.

Let’s prove our already existing political strength of the LGBTI+ movement through our own resources.

Let the LGBTI+ organizations be primarily accountable to their base, and receive its financial strength primarily from its base!

Let US become the safeguards of a sustainable LGBTI+ movement that takes its strength from its base and strong institutions!

 

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