Turkey’s Changemakers: LISTAG: A trailblazing group working against discrimination
The Sabancı Foundation Turkey’s Changemakers Program is continuing in its sixth season to share the unique stories of extraordinary people who contribute to social development. The second Changemaker of the sixth season is the families of LGBTI individuals in Istanbul (LISTAG), a trailblazing group working against discrimination.
LISTAG was established in January 2008 in Istanbul as a civil society organization by the families of LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) people.
LISTAG works to raise awareness in individuals, families and the society about LGBTI and homophobia. LISTAG brings together the families of LGBTI people regularly in monthly meetings at the offices of the Society for Sexual Education Treatment and Research (CETAD). LISTAG activists and families have reached around a thousand families and informed them about what to do in this process.
LISTAG also supported the documentary film “My Child,” where five LISTAG families tell about their experience as parents, the stories of how their children shared their situation with them and the overall process they have faced. The film was published in 2013 and was awarded Jury’s Special Award in the 3rd Filmamed Documentary Film Festival.
LISTAG took on a responsibility in a society in which every year tens of LGBTI people are confronted with problems. They started solving the problems in their own lives and gave trainings to many other families on how to cope with these problems. They worked for the solution of a problem that is perceived as a taboo by the society. They succeeded raising the awareness that could not be raised by their children themselves, thanks to their brave standing and inspiring stories. They made a big difference in their own lives and in the lives of families with LGBTI children, a difference that is not easy to touch or see, but can be felt strongly.