Turkey’s Transsexual Community: A Day in the Life …

We meet Sevval again the next morning at her morning job with Women’s Door – it’s a developement foundation that helps those in the sex industry with medical and legal aid.  The young lady we saw at the LGBTT headquarters with the bruised face drops by the office, and Sevval translates her story.

Transsexual assult in Instanbul turkey

On June 5, this young woman was working on a street when 5 young guys approached her and began insulting her, when she told them to go away and stop bothering her, they attacked.  She almost reached the entrance of a shop to escape, but they dragged her back and started beating her.  When the police arrived they were not sympathetic, pulling her up by the hair and implying she deserved it.  Two of these young men were under 18.  Today Sevval is using a camcorder to record an interview with her, while Chad takes some pictures that she can provide her lawyer.

There are not many employment options for most transsexuals in Turkey, resulting in nearly all currently working or having worked in the sex industry.  While it is never easy to ‘come out’ for those in the lesbian and gay community, it is not uncommon for post-op transsexuals to find themselves almost completely without options for work.  This has a lot to do with the country’s constitution, which has no anti-sexual discrimination laws.  It is also a key issue that the Istanbul LGBTT group is trying to draw public attention too.


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