We met a turkish transgender person at the office of KAOS-GL who was about to give a speech later on in the afternoon about the situation for sex workers and transgendered people in Turkey. Coming from Sweden where at least transsexuals are relatively well taken care of in the health care system and also from a legal and administrative point it is really difficult to comprehend the situation in Turkey and many other countries. I know about my own issues with my body and it must awful to be forced to use that situation as the only way to earn your living. People paying money to have sex with you just because your are something strange “in-between”. Everything that transsexuals in Sweden try avoid at all costs,
Apparently it is difficult to find someplace to live as well since there have been cases where construction firms pays thugs money to keep watch in areas where transgender people live. They sit and wait in cars all day long to get a chance to harass and assault them to force them to move from the area. The transgender people, neighbours and the police knows about this but nobody does anything to stop it. However, there seem to be a court case coming up real soon where an attacker actually is charged for beating a transgender person. Hopefully that can be a start to something new. Many people are seriously hurt each year and quite a few are even killed. It seem to be worse for transgender people and butch lesbians because they always face the risk of rape from even the police. There are also examples of police and the military conducting rape on gay men just to see if they like it. Apparently only the passive part is considered a homosexual in Turkey as it is in other countries.
From an education standpoint it must also be tough to inform people about transgender issues since it is so closely related to sex workers and prostitution. I think it is already hard enough to inform here in Sweden when the knowledge in general is not widespread about transgender issues. Being forced to also bring up the debate around prostitution would make it so much more difficult let alone the attitude towards people generally being seen on the lower steps of the community ladder.
I am so grateful living in Sweden where I have my wonderful friends, great doctors in the health care system and really nice co-workers in the Armed Forces that make me look forward to go to work each day.