November 19, 2010

IGLYO Board issues support letter to the Trans Remembrance Conference in Ankara


In two days, LGBTQ activists in Turkey will commemorate the victims of transphobia. Organized by Pink Life LGBTT Solidarity Association, the Trans Remembrance Conference (to be held in Ankara between November 22 and 28) will enable LGBTQ activists, experts, artists, celebrities, representatives of human rights watchdog organizations from different parts of the world to come together, work and remember…

Unfortunately, IGLYO will not be able to attend this landmark event. However, the IGLYO Board strongly supports its members and friends in Turkey by sending a video message to the organizers and participants of the Trans Remembrance Conference. Below you can find the speech of the video.

IGLYO Board’s Support Letter to the Trans Remembrance Conference in Ankara

Hi, I amZara Shushanyan, a Board member of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Youth and Student Organization (IGLYO). With this video, the IGLYO Board would like to address the organizers and participants of the Trans Remembrance Conference in Ankara, as a support to this landmark event.

Throughout the year of 2010, we have witnessed cases of murder, horrible atrocity and outright violence against transgender people in Turkey. Trans murder tolls from Turkish cities shocked the international community, creating an atmosphere of fear, insecurity and a feeling of irrevocable emptiness in the hearts of thosewho lost their friends, sisters, brothers, relatives and beloved ones.

Watch dog organizations and relevant institutions keep collecting statistics on transmurders, but no one is able to count how many lives are being ruined and howmany people are suffering every day due to extreme brutality of those who feel they are superior to others and who simply cannot curb the thirst for blood. Nobody can say how many transgender people have taken their own life for fear of being discriminated, rejected or just being slain on the street. Nor can anyone compensate for human losses and ruined lives.

Every time a trans murder is reported from different parts of the world, we, the IGLYO Board members and just young LGBTQ activists, ask two questions: “Will this ever stop?” and “What can we do to break this terrible chain of murders andprotect transgender activists from relentless persecution?” For every lost lifemakes us more responsible for the lives of LGBTQ communities and trangsender people in particular. While laying flowers to the graves of the victims of transphobia,we keep calling for justice and the universal recognition of human rights. Rememberingthe dead, we never give up combating hate crimes, speaking up and raising awareness of the brutality, prejudice and hatred against trans people acrossthe world.

As the voice of LGBTQ youth and students, IGLYO urges its members and friends to make their governments ensure that laws protecting transgender people from violence and hate crimes are effective and that trans people are aware of their rights contained in the national legislations.

Hailing the strenuous efforts of Pink Life LGBTT Solidarity Association to combat hate crimes in Turkey, IGLYO believes the Trans Remembrance Conference is a good opportunity to make the challenges of local transgender communities more visible and lift the veil of indifference and irresponsibility.

As the Spanish philosopher George Santayana once said: “Those who cannot remember thepast are doomed to repeat it”.

Therefore,IGLYO urges LGBTQ activists across the world to make others remember thevictims of transphobia and, remembering the dead, never give up the fight forhuman rights equality.

Thank you.

Zara Shushanyan,

On behalf of the IGLYO Board

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