Focus Areas and Working Teams of QCA
Orientalation, against homo+bi+transfobia!
If you want to change the system,
If you think LGBTI+ movement should be doing more. If you think “Ohhh… This movement can’t be without me, wait for me I am coming” or you don’t say anything but you just want to be part of it or if you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, intersex, asexual, demisexual, pansexual, aromantic, this or that or if you feel in “+”, so if you are sick of “what people think or say” saying or even if you are against the labels but I want to be part of the LGBTI+ movement then you are invited to the orientation event organised by Queer Cyprus Association.
Ps. We struggled for writing a cool description for the group but to cut it short this group is organizing orientation events of Queer Cyprus, where the associations events, actions, mission, membership are introduced and anyone can ask any kind of questions and even if they want they can do the oriental dancing, during the events.
This team regularly organizes orientation activities for friends who wish to become members of the Queer Cyprus Association.
A study group established in order to periodically read, watch and discuss collectively selected written, visual and auditory material. It carries out reading activities and thematic discussions on the themes advocated by the Queer Cyprus Association. It also organizes storytelling games.
Previously ‘read’ material examples:
Book, “The Queer Art of Failure”, Judith Halberstam
Article, “Queer Theory and Gender Diversity” (Queer Kuram ve Cinsiyet Farklılığı), Zeynep Direk
Animation – Film, “Chicken Run”
Solidarity Line Volunteers
This team was founded by Solidarity Hotline Volunteers that are responsible for answering calls, and messages and intervening in emergencies. The prospective volunteers are trained before officially becoming active volunteers.
Queer Cyprus Solidarity Line aims to answer questions about LGBTI+ struggle, sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Identities of the callers will be kept confidential and will only be used by the volunteers who have received a comprehensive training. In the Solidarity Line, there will be no psychological support and the individuals will be directed to the experts about all questions that require expertise.
The free solidarity line can be reached at +90 542 858 5847 (KUİR). You can reach the line 7 days a week between 10:00 & 22:00 by making a direct call to the active phone line, online applications and/or texting a SMS message.
- Why do LGBTI+ individuals need work to be carried out in the healthcare field?
Due to the insufficient budget reserved for health in the northern part of Cyprus, we are being forced to consent to neoliberal transformation in a deliberate and planned manner. Health is losing its position as a public right and it is being commercialized. We observe this transformation from the prevalence of using private healthcare services. As an impoverished group, the LGBTI+ community is also affected by the neoliberal attacks.
Besides the health issues experienced by the general population, due to their sexual orientation and gender identities, LGBTI individuals face difficulties in healthcare and experience issues while accessing health services.
It is important to note that the health and disease aspects of sexual orientation and sexual behavior were studied within the field of medicine since late 19th century for a long duration. Today’s medical science, which is also performed in our geography, is established on a binary and heterosexist basis in order to maintain the production of the heterosexual family and factory laborers. It has been observed that aversion and conversion therapies have a negative impact on both LGBT individuals and the doctors practicing such therapies. Since homosexuality is not a disease that can be “cured”, it was removed from being categorized as a disease after the 1970s. Despite these developments, discussing the fundamentals of medicine and the methods used to examine sexuality is vital for the LGBTI+ liberation movement.
Although the LGBTI community is a heterogeneous group, the common issues in accessing healthcare services can be listed as below:
- being labeled by healthcare employees;
- experiencing psychological violence and/or discrimination during service;
- disclosing confidential personal information;
- feeling forced to hide their identity or important health-related, personal information in order to prevent being subjected to negative attitudes and behavior;
- avoiding healthcare services caused by the fear of facing negative experiences;
- the absence of any written or practical implementations regarding the gender re-assignment process;
- in cases which the individual is not part of an official heterosexual marriage or is disowned by their family, LGBTI+ individuals can’t benefit from their partners’ or family members’ insurance and therefore can’t access free public healthcare systems.
Additionally, intersex children who are born with atypical sex characteristics are discriminated, and without the informed consent of themselves or their families are subjected to unnecessary medical surgeries to define their sex.
Why do LGBTI+ individuals need work to be carried out in the education field?
The existing education paradigm conceals the exploitative capitalist system and produces an oppressive, patriarchal and heterosexist type of person. It is clear that, from the early stages of school to university, the entire education system ignores diversities among children and teenagers and holds implementations which oppress and reinforce standardization.
In formal education of the northern part of Cyprus, members of youth who are perceived as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or intersex face serious obstacles while exercising their right to education. While in some cases, this is caused by the discriminatory behavior of the authority figure based on perceived sexual orientation and gender identity, in other cases, it is caused by bullying, different types of violence and abuse inflicted by peers and teachers.
In order to financially meet the needs of our struggle, we require additional resources besides the membership fees. Our resources include:
- Queerzine: Periodical fanzine. Queerzines can be purchased from our association or organized events.
- Projects: Based on our needs, we submit applications to short term and long term funds intended for civil societies. We are currently working on one long-term and one short-term project funded by the European Commission.
- Handmade magnets, coasters, stickers can be purchased from our association or organized events.
- We accept donations from individuals who believe our activities are valuable and wish for their continuance. You may donate at events or at our association, or you may send your donation via bank transfer.
Social Activities Team:
In addition to raising funds for the Queer Cyprus Association, this team organizes various parties in order to activate the polyphony and visibility within the association. At the same time, the social activities team organizes yoga sessions, picnics and trips to ensure that these activities are the voice of everyone against all forms of discrimination and othering. The purpose is to vacate, socialize and tell people that they are not alone.
Universal Relations Team:
This team works to strengthen and expand Queer Cyprus’ international relations and universal communications. It aims to cooperate with all living species in the world and extraterrestrial beings.