Queer Cyprus Association held Thematic Discussion Event on “Invisible Violence against LGBTI+s through the Perspective of Youth.”
(Nicosia, 27/01/23) The fourth thematic discussion based on the “Unseen Violence against LGBT+s through the Perspective of Youth”, which aims to raise awareness around the types of discrimination and marginalisation that LGBTI+s face systemically, was held on 26 January 2023 at the Human Rights House in cooperation with the Nicosia Youth Association. This event is within the scope of the Rainbow Project which is funded by the European Union under the Cypriot Civil Society in Action VII Grant Scheme and implemented by the Queer Cyprus Association.
The thematic discussion event, titled the “Invisible Violence against LGBTI+s through the Perspective of Youth”, was organised by young people who shared their opinions on how the negative attitudes and behaviours that lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, and plus (LGBTI+) people are exposed to deeply affect everyone in society, both individually and institutionally. The event started with a short introductory activity and was moderated and facilitated by human rights activist İbrahim Ray and the Equality secretary member of Nicosia Youth Association Kemal Elyeli.
As an introduction to the topic, participants briefly listened to some definitions of sexual identity and sexual orientation from the moderators and asked questions about LGBTI+ terminology. The event focused on the invisible experiences of discrimination and marginalisation based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in the fields of health, education, and workplaces from the perspective of the youth. Furthermore, at the beginning of the discussion, the murder of a young woman by a man just a few days ago was highlighted by the participants as another tragic example of gender-based violence. Some participants highlighted the negative attitudes of health professionals such as discriminatory behaviour, rejection, and mockery, which constitute a major barrier to LGBTI+ accessibility, especially in the field of health. On the other hand, it was discussed that the exclusionary and marginalising approaches of teachers and school staff, who have an active role as an important part of the change and transformation in our society, can leave deep injuries on many LGBTI+ students. Participants also referred to the previous research conducted by Queer Cyprus Association and underlined that LGBTI+ students are at risk of dropping out of school due to discrimination and prejudice, and that this risk is much greater for transgender students. In addition, it was discussed that the educational lives of LGBTI+s deeply affect their career development in the following years, that is, the employment and working lives of LGBTI+s. One of the important issues that was touched upon was the types of violence that LGBTI+s are exposed to in workplaces, some of which were examples such as the lack of inclusivity on sexual orientation and gender identity in workplaces, targeting sexual orientation or gender identity as mobbing, and exclusion from common activities.
The discussion continued with comments from the participants in order to talk about the invisible violence that LGBTI+s are exposed to in many areas such as education, health and workplaces. The importance and role of trade unions such as Cyprus Turkish Secondary School Teachers Union (KTÖOS), Cyprus Turkish Teachers Union (KTÖS), non-governmental organisations such as Cyprus Turkish Psychologists Association (KTPD), Cyprus Turkish Psychological Consular and Guidance Association (KTPDR), Turkish Cypriot Medical Association (KTTB), Turkish Cypriot Nurses Association (KTHB), Human Resources Management Association (İKYD) were emphasised by the youth in order to prevent violence against LGBTI+s in areas such as education, health, and workplaces. In addition, it was emphasised that the studies carried out by Queer Cyprus Association to prevent prejudice and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the field of health and education are of great importance.
At the end of the event, the moderators highlighted that people who are subjected to discrimination and marginalisation based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in our society can reach Queer Cyprus Association for psychological, legal and social assistance via the Solidarity Line on 0542 858 58 47 or email@example.com address.