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    Posted June 30, 2013 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Photo essays: Your stories in pictures

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    21st LGBT Pride Week İstanbul


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     gorkemkeser shot these photos of LGBT Pride Week on June 30. After the Gezi Park's protest and this colorful parade of LGBT support, he predicts 2013 will begin an 'age of englightenment for Turkey.'
    - jccarp, CNN iReport producer

    Theme of the 21st Pride Week- Resistance
    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 endeavored to build solidarity networks, form alliances and acquire mass support. The movement grew and got stronger, both in local and international arenas, through use of various methods and existence of ways of lives that cannot be classified under LGBT categories.

    Throughout and in the aftermath of the movement that started with Gezi Park and spread all around Turkey in no time, the theme that we have decided upon, resistance, acquired new meanings not only in the vocabulary of those who resist but also in the vocabulary of those who dominate.

    In a society where we are deemed sick, deviant, immoral and guilty by the state auhtorities and officers, our efforts to voice our demands of equality consistuted our form of resistance.

    For us, resistance amounts to transforming the homophobic and transphobic discourses that are produced/reproduced not just by the hegemonic language but also through the slogans voiced by some of the other dissident circles.

    For us, resistance is about portraying our own gender performances and subjectivities.

    For us, resistance means to stand against the reproductive heterosexual marriages as well as soceity’s ‘unique’ building block, the family, with the motto ‘Love is Solidarity’.

    For us, resistance is not to bow before ‘biological sex’ and the oppresive compulsory heterosexual matrix which is imposed on us since we are little ‘children’ and whose opprresive and repressive effects intensify as we are forced to become ‘students’ and ‘employees’.

    For us, our bedrooms, fantasies and loves constitute resistance.

    For us, resistance is the long hours we spend 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 enforce no legal sanctions against the murderers of trans and LGBT individuals.

    With these experiences we hit the road and we are walking towards realizing the 21st Istanbul Pride Week with the theme of ‘resistance’. 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!
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