Archiv für Oktober 2007

Oh Girl, It’s A Boy

Beyoglu Queens

Check out the project „Beyoglu Queens“ on the homepage of photographer Robert Huber

„Transvestites are the real guerrillas of the gender wars.‘ writes Suzanne Brogger in her book Save Us from Love. In Beyoglu, the night-life hub of Istanbul, the guerrillas are out every night defying the traditionalist perceptions of the Turkish society by simply being who they are. Unable to find regular work, nearly all of them are sex workers.
Even though transgender or homosexual people have to fight their way into acceptance in the society in general, openly gay or cross-dressing entertainers are a staple of mainstream Turkish television. While Islamic machismo and an indulgence of exotic sexual tastes have existed side by side for centuries, that tolerance waned in the nineties in Istanbul and transsexuals and transvestites were subjected to police persecution, beatings and torture.
Today’s Istanbul is more tolerant of sexual minorities but transvestites are far from being accepted as citizens who have the same rights as the family next door. Living on the very fringe of society, they share apartments and go around in groups but are hardly organized as a community. They know there is a need to stick together against possible abuses while competing against each other in the nightly market of Beyoglu. Here are some of them who are working every night. “