According to Pink Life, transphobic hatred in Turkey is so widespread that transrights activists are specifically targeted because of their efforts. They wrote, “as trans activists, our freedom of movement is prevented, our freedom of expression is limited and we are faced with social exclusion and violence. In short, we are being ‘hated’ just because of our existence!”
That about sums up transphobia: fear of an entire group of people, just because they exist.
So Kemal and I started a Care2 petition to the Turkish government, demanding that they protect the rights of all their transgender citizens and that they drop pending charges against three pink life activists who were arbitrarily detained and beaten for their transrights activism.
Glenn Close clearly succeeded in provoking important conversations and placing transgender identity on the red carpet. But for the trans women who were almost lynched in Turkey and for the thousands of other victims of transphobic hate crimes, the world is changing too slowly. The number of reviews I read that called the film’s lead character “creepy” and “un-relatable”, or referred to Albert as “it,” rather than “him,” was in itself disturbing and sad.
We will know things have really changed when a trans actor wins an Oscar for playing a leading male role, and hir sex-at-birth is not even mentioned. Until then, while Ms. Close thanks the Academy, I would like to thank the brave transrights activists, like Kemal Ordek at Pink Life, who risk their lives every day to speak up for transfolk, even though no one is giving them golden awards or celebrating their hard work in front of millions.
If you would also like to express your gratitude or solidarity to the transrights activists at Pink Life, please do so in the comments below.
If you feel compelled to add your name to Pink Life’s call for equal rights and freedoms in Turkey, please take a moment and sign our petition.
And just in case, if you are Glenn Close, and while accepting your award you feel inspired to mention the thousands of transrights activists working today against the same forces of hatred and ignorance that Albert withstood…this is your moment.
Read more: academy awards, Albert Nobbs, Faces Of Change, Glenn Close, human rights, Kemal Ordek, Kiri Westby, Mr. Sadullah Ergin, Pink Life, transgender, Transrights, turkey, Turkish Ministry of Justice, urgent action fund for women's human rights
Photo from Fortune Live Media via flickr
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