Billboard Campaign for LGBTI Awareness

Billboard Campaign for LGBTI Awareness

(Nicosia, 11/11/2016) “Unspoken: Creating Dialogue on LGBTI Rights in the Turkish Cypriot Community” project recently unveiled billboards 5 cities in the north part of Cyprus to increase the public dialogue on LGBTI rights and increase the visibility of LGBTI individuals.

The EU-funded project “Unspoken,” implemented by Cyprus Community Media Centre – CCMC in cooperation with Queer Cyprus Association and the Thomson Foundation, aims to achieve social change by combating discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation and improving levels of media coverage and public debate.

The billboards featuring messages “Mediha Deyze, Ben Geyim” (Aunt Mediha, I’m Gay) and “Kamil Abi, Ben Lezbiyenim” (Uncle Kamil, I’m a Lesbian) have been placed in Nicosia, Kyrenia, Famagusta, Lefke, İskele and Karpasia in order to increase visibility and awareness of LGBTI issues  as well as creating a forum in which the public discussion on LGBTI rights can flourish.

The campaign promptly sparked a huge public debate within the Turkish Cypriot community, drawing both positive and negative reactions on social and traditional media. However, shortly after their installment, some of the billboards in Dikmen, Famagusta and Karpaz have been vandalized by unidentified individuals. In addition, the local council, without any notification or explanation, has taken down the billboards in Iskele.

Demonstrating the alarming level of homophobia and hate in the society, such indiscriminate attacks are unacceptable. “Unspoken: Creating Dialogue on LGBTI Rights in the Turkish Cypriot Community” project will continue to work towards a society in which all individuals can express themselves freely, feel safe and have equal rights regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

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