Arsham Parsi, executive director of the Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees (IRQR) based in Toronto, Canada paid another visit to Turkey to participate at the 6th International Meeting Against Homophobia among other activists from the Caucasus, Middle East and Balkans.
The participants of "Regional Network against Homophobia," which will take place within the scope of 6th International Meeting against Homophobia are determined. Opponents of homophobia from Bosnia Herzegovina, Lebanon, Serbia, Croatia, Palestine, Israel, Armenia, Georgia, Macedonia, Greece, Montenegro, Egypt and Iran will meet in Ankara on May 20th.
The 6th International Meeting against Homophobia will host the Regional Network initiative. Kaos GL, which plans to establish a Middle East, Caucasus and Balkans LGBTT Network for solidarity in the struggle against homophobia, has completed the preparations for the organization of the Regional Network.
Kaos GL’s international call for “Regional Network against Homophobia” initiative affirmed by opponents of homophobia and LGBT organizations from 13 countries. It has not been possible for individuals against homophobia from Syria and Southern Cyprus to attend the meeting even though they wanted to. The “Regional Network” which will take place as a part of 6th International Meeting against Homophobia will be the first meeting of the initiative.
Program of Activities of the Regional Network Meeting Program, May 20th, Ankara
The inaugural of First Regional Network Meeting will start with “Why Regional Network?” speeches of Nevin Öztop and Ali Erol, the coordinators of International Meeting against Homophobia.
During the first half of the day “Regional Presentations” will take place. In the first part of the Regional Presentations individuals against homophobia from Egypt, Israel, Iran, Greece and Turkey, Armenia and Georgia will present themselves and their studies. Arsham Parsi will talk about homophobia in Iran at the political, social, cultural and educational level.
In the second part of Regional Presentations, participants from Palestine, Lebanon, Bosnia Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Croatia will take the floor. The importance of acting against nationalism and racism as a crucial part of combating homophobia and transphobia.
The second half of the Regional Network Meeting will begin with “What Do The Doors Shut By Nationalism Cover Up?” forum. In the forum, the participants will share their own prejudices over the question of “Why the Struggle against Homophobia and Transphobia cannot be Succeeded without Struggling also against Racism and Nationalism?”
The second half of the day will continue with “Who can be Our Friends and Partners in the Struggle against Homophobia and Transphobia?” forum. The motive of the forum which consists of “Feminism and Women’s Movement”, “Trade Unions”, “Education and Academia”, “Asylum” and “Media” sections is based on the following objectives:
“… In order to create new struggle arenas to enhance our rights and freedoms.”
“… In order to downgrade the local and regional heterosexist regimes.”
“… In order to strengthen our core organizations and to establish links with other freedom struggles.”
Regional Network Initiative
Kaos GL had announced the “Conference of Homosexuals of Middle East and Balkan Countries” as a dream when it declared itself and identified its vision of struggle, at the very beginning of its establishment. “International Experiences in the Struggle against Homophobia” has been one of the major forums of the Meeting which takes place since 2006. Kaos GL, planning to form a Middle East, Caucasus and Balkan States LGBT Network, prepared a text explaining the motives of the initiative and distributed it in the international community.
Kaos GL, which also invited the representatives of LGBT organizations from Turkey to the Regional Network Initiative Meeting, wishes to work with the representatives of LGBT organizations who will attend the Network Meeting and establish coordination in the process of Regional Network Initiative. Kaos GL, which will carry out the secretariat affairs of the Network, aims at becoming partners with LGBT organizations in the policy production and dissemination in the international arena and regional interventions.
Regional Cries against Homophobia
In the eve of the regional union, participants of “Regional Network against Homophobia” from Bosnia Herzegovina, Lebanon, Serbia, Croatia, Palestine, Israel, Armenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Greece, Montenegro, Egypt and Iran, talked to Kaos GL about their countries and organizations.
Regional Network against Homophobia
Kaos GL which plans to establish a Middle East, Caucasus and Balkan States LGBT Network for solidarity in the struggle against homophobia prepared the preamble for the “Regional Network against Homophobia”.
The core events of the sixth of the Meetings against Homophobia, which are organized by Kaos GL each year in the week of 17th May, are taking place in Ankara in 1-22 May 2011. Kaos GL, which struggles against discriminations based on Sexual Orientation and Gender, is organizing the meeting against homophobia and transphobia.