Transgenders to mark fight against hate crimes with first ever fashion show

Transgenders to mark fight against hate crimes with first ever fashion show

Şehriban Oğhan ISTANBUL / Hürriyet

HÜRRİYET Photos / Murat Şaka

The LGBT community is set to hold Turkey's first transgender fashion show in Istanbul on Nov. 20, marking the annual day established to commemorate victims of hate crimes against transgender people.

The income collected by the sale of clothes exhibited on the catwalk will be donated to transgender people in need, the organizers said.

“We want to get out of the third pages of newspapers,” said transgender activist Öykü Ay, referring to the newspaper section in which stories of murder are traditionally reported.

“Let them [report] about us in magazine pages. We would rather be an object of entertainment than of violence,” she added.

Some 100 transgender activists have worked to prepare the show, and a total of 35 transgender activists will exhibit around 100 outfits, all made by designers who are members of the LGBT community.

Ay, who is coordinating the project, perceives a “softening attitude” in society and calls on anyone who has prejudices to attend the event and meet them.

Many transgender people in Turkey live under constant threat of hate attacks and most of the murders targeting the LGBT community are left unsolved.

Last month a transgender Romani woman was found killed at her home in Istanbul in unclear circumstances. Another young transgender woman, Çağla Joker, was murdered last April following an attack by two young men.

The LGBT community has long pressed the state for the recognition of the freedom of sexual identity in the Constitution, without success. Transgender people in particular face the additional difficulty of getting a job and many have to live in penurious conditions.