SPoD’s advocacy-oriented work on LGBTI+ people is not limited to preventing rights violations or improving rights; we also carry out academic studies in this field. In this context, reaching reliable data on the subject, producing data, disseminating them, publicizing current studies, and opening new areas of discussion are among our areas of work to understand the issues related to LGBTI+ existence in a more accurate way.
We contribute to the accumulation of research on gender in Turkey through feminist queer theory perspectives. Within the scope of this field, we organize Spring Seminars where we bring together academics and students. By bringing together people working on the LGBTI+ movement, LGBTI+ people and queerness, we introduce current studies and researchers and enable researchers to interact with each other. We also provide academic support to those conducting related research.
SPoD generates data by utilizing surveys, field research, in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and monitoring studies to determine the situation of LGBTI+ people who are subjected to discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. National and international meetings on LGBTI+ studies are organized where the obtained results are shared with relevant authorities, institutions, associations, and the public. We also continue our efforts by related publications that focus on academic debates.
Through the Spring Seminars we have been organizing since 2011, we bring together academics, academic candidates, students, and non-governmental organizations working in many fields such as gender, sexual orientation, the body, LGBTI+ people, queerness, disability, critical masculinities, sexuality, intersectionality, migration, human rights. We continue our in-person seminars, which we have been conducting face-to-face to make the voice of LGBTI+ people and queer-oriented studies heard and to enable people from the relevant field of study to meet each other, online since the pandemic.
With the Literature Discussions series titled “Queer Perspective on Turkish Literature”, which started in 2018, we discuss fictional texts in Turkish Literature and academic studies on these texts by focusing on a different book each month.
Accompanied by two academics as moderator and facilitator, we analyze texts from queer perspectives with the participants in each session and conduct discussions together. In addition to providing the opportunity to discuss textual analysis from queer perspectives in a safe environment, which is not available in universities, we make current literary studies on the relevant literature visible and encourage readers and researchers to study in the field.
Mapping and Monitoring Gender Equality in the Context of LGBTI+ Rights in State Universities
Within the scope of the Gender Equality in the Context of LGBTI+ Rights Mapping and Monitoring Project, which SPoD conducted with ÜniKuir for 1 year focusing on 19 public universities in Ankara and Istanbul, our publication “Gender Equality in the Context of LGBTI+ Rights in Public Universities in Ankara and Istanbul: Current Situation and Discrimination against LGBTI+ people” has been published. In addition, queer monitoring website “Kuirİzlem” has now been founded.
In this project, we completed the field survey, held focus group meetings, and developed 2 separate scales, the “LGBTI+ Rights in Universities Scale” and the “Discrimination against LGBTI+ people in Universities Scale” to monitor the current situation in universities from the responses of university members. In these scales, we identified 7 main indicators and 35 sub-indicators. After the validity and reliability analysis of the scales were completed, we reached 101 university members for the pilot study. For this report, we collected usable data from 1709 university members. We conducted legislation and curriculum analyses, as well as policy and stakeholder analyses.
Finally, in August, we completed our project with the Gender Equality in the Context of LGBTI+ Rights in Universities Workshop: A Study of Ankara and Istanbul State Universities.
The report, prepared with the responses of students, academics, staff, and alumni of 19 universities and the points pointed out by the monitoring, draws a framework on a wide range of topics from safe spaces on campuses to academic activities, from universities’ policies on gender equality to harassment and violence at universities.
As a rights-based monitoring study conducted across universities, this research’s objectives focused on:
- Determining the current situation of LGBTI+ people in public universities in Ankara and Istanbul in terms of gender equality
- Institutionally informing and raising awareness of universities on gender equality with a special focus on LGBTI+ people
- Encouraging and promoting gender equality by raising awareness on LGBTI+ rights in universities
The report is available on the website kuirizlem.org, where monitoring details and all outputs of the research are provided.
There are 2 major field research we have conducted to determine the situation of LGBTI+ people who are discriminated against based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
In 2014, 2,875 people participated in the “Research on Social and Economic Problems of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) People in Turkey”. Within the scope of the research, we organized 14 focus group discussions in 10 cities (Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Eskişehir, Gaziantep, Trabzon, Adana, Antalya, Mersin, Edirne) with the participation of more than 200 people.
In 2016, we focused on “Trans Women’s ‘Alternative’ Work Experiences.” As part of the field research conducted between October 2015 and September 2016, we conducted in-depth interviews with 15 trans women working in different jobs and sectors, 13 in Istanbul and 2 in Mersin.