Video: Turkish parents’ appeal for anti-homophobia film

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A support group for the families of gay and trans people in Turkey is appealing for funds to finish a documentary on the experiences of parents.

LISTAG has secured nearly $10,000 of its $40,000 target and secured a matching grant which will double donations.

The group was formed in 2008 and now runs as a solidarity and support network for friends, families and especially parents of LGBT individuals, actively working against homophobia, transphobia, discrimination, and hate crimes.

In the documentary, seven parents are interviewed in their homes in Istanbul on their experiences of raising gay and trans children.

A LISTAG spokesperson told “We felt the need to make this documentary, because it is very important to be heard by as many people as possible in this homophobic, transphobic society where our voices usually are not being heard.

“People do not know or understand what we have been going through and mostly ignore the situation.

“We thought that we should have a voice. People should know what we and our children go through in this part of the world and that a different world is possible! We think that if we talk as parents, it is easier for people to understand what would happen if one day their children were to come out to them as LGBTs.

“As you can imagine it is not easy for us to be in front of the camera as parents of LGBTs in such a homophobic and transphobic society where our children have to struggle even when expressing their sexual identities.”

The Republic of Turkey has never criminalised homosexuality, but there is no protection for gay or trans people in employment, education, housing, health care, public accommodations or credit and no domestic partnership or marriage rights for gays.

In 2009, a Turkish man was put on trial ‘in absentia’ for the death in his son, thought to have been an ‘honour’ killing.

Selma Aliye Kavaf, State Minister Responsible for Women and Family sparked protests in 2010 when she said: “I believe homosexuality is a biological disorder, a disease. It needs to be treated.”

This week it was announced that a case had been lodged at the European Court of Human Rights against Turkey for the criminalisation of gay sex in Northern Cyprus.

Visit LISTAG’s Indiegogo fundraising page or the group’s website for more information on the film.