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Kaos GL > History

History

Kaos GL is the result of productive conversations that usually start with the question “What can we do?”.

At the beginning of 1990s, we were having conversations at home. Sometimes we wanted to organize "gay prides" with the effect of news we read in the newspapers. Sometimes we lost our hopes. We abandoned our dreams saying, "We cannot achieve anything in this country."

There had to be something we could do. We found each other; but there are more people we need to reach, waiting to be reached. We had to find them. We started to discuss what we can do to reach them.

While LGBTI+s could not exist in any area of life, they had to hear their own voices and then make it heard by others. We had to help each of them and we started doing this by publishing a magazine.

In 1993, we began to shape the magazine with thousands of ideas and experiences. In our daily conversations, we were just talking about what kind of a magazine we wanted. Then, we wanted to create a platform to discuss about these issues. We wanted anyone from all over the country to be able to attend this platform. We covered everywhere from Ankara to Istanbul with banners.

April 16-23, 1994, number 12, Express:

To gays, lesbians, and anti-heterosexists: You are wrong if you think that you are alone. We have always been in every part of the society. We have always existed but not with our own identity. We have existed with the identity that heterosexism imposes to us. Is not it the time to change these imposed identities, yet?

We took the first step. Our goal was to create a network and spaces for those who want to struggle together with us.

We rented a mailbox. Write down your thoughts, feelings, problems and what you can do personally. Who do we trust if we do not even trust each other?”

Our dreams came true on 20 September 1994. We released our first magazine and even with its first issue made our voices heard well. We received too many feedbacks from all over the country. We had no money, we borrowed. We did not have computer, we did it secretly in our workplaces. So, in short, we were not only revealing our product but also revealing ourselves by coming out. After we published our first magazine, we have accumulated enough articles, hopes and excitements for ten more issues.

In the first issue, we started by explaining ourselves to ourselves: The Manifest

We are not only living in a sexist society but also, a heterosexist one. This society we live in, which is based on enslaving women and which is transformed over time into a capitalist exploitation system, is not only male dominated but also a heterosexist male domination system. Sometimes homosexuality and lesbianism are seen in this society, but everything is done for the continuity of heterosexist political and social dictatorship. Just like women are oppressed and exploited because they are women, gays are also oppressed by the heterosexist mentality and the male-dominated-order, just because they are gay.

Heterosexism wants to destroy homosexuality. You may destroy all the Indians, Jews and Kurds. You may mark all the homosexuals with pink triangles like Hitler did. Hospitals, prisons, unsolved homosexual and transvestite murders; they have all been tried throughout the history. They killed homosexuals individually but never homosexuality.

Having a penis or a vagina, being trans, or being homosexual does not pose any treat to the patriarchal heterosexist dictatorship if you are captured by its ideology and discourse. Someone who forgets about his existence as a homosexual male outside of his bed would not pose any treat to the patriarchal heterosexist dictatorship neither.

We are not only “gay” in the bedrooms. We are “gay” forever and always. We oppose to social invisibility. Compared to heterosexuals, we may be minority in quantitative sense, but we refuse to be a minority in qualitative sense. We do not have a problem with heterosexuality; our enemy is heterosexism which rejects our right to life. We reject to be less or superior. We know that ruler can give up on everything except sovereignty. Democracy will improve so much that gays will also be free! Since we perceive freedom as a holistic existence, we are aiming to eliminate the heterosexist dictatorship from every aspect of life, politically and socially. We struggle for this.

We were trying to create opportunities to reach homosexuals, like ourselves, with our accumulated enthusiasm. We were publishing Kaos GL magazine by revealing everything without sacrificing our love, our excitement and our life.

Cultural Center and Library

Kaos GL helped many dreams of LGBTI+ movement to come true and it succeeded lots of firsts of the movement. In the autumn of 1999, Kaos GL created the Cultural Center of the movement. This center was also regarded as the product of the magazine. After its establishment, a library has been opened. Then, movie screenings took place. Still we continue our activities with the same energy and passion. For the socialization, researches, productions and sharing of LGBTI+s, Kaos GL Cultural Center opens its doors every day from 14:00 to 18:00.

Kaos GL after 2000s

Kaos GL Cultural Center has been actively arranging programs since September 2000, including cultural events, meetings, seminars and film screenings. The library created within the Cultural Center is Turkey's first gay library.

Kaos GL group has been providing legal and psychological support services through voluntary lawyers and psychologists/psychiatrists as well as the activities for raising consciousness for 12 years. The psychologists and psychiatrists of Kaos GL are struggling to decipher and stop homophobic practices against homosexuals in mental health services. It is also a priority of Kaos GL to fight against the violations of rights that are caused by pressures and prejudices against homosexuals in all spheres of social life, and to make sure that homosexuals are visible in society.

We participated in many panels, conferences and seminars to break down the society’s prejudices about homosexuals. By participating in International Workers’ Day protests in 2001, we not only moved the struggle to the fields, but also became the first LGBTI+ organization to participate in a public protest in Turkey.

Kaos GL started the discussions on gay and lesbian issues publicly on 23-24 May 2003 with the support of the Dutch Embassy.

Within the scope of a project supported by the British Embassy in 2004, we organized human rights seminars named "Gay Rights are Human Rights" in Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara and Diyarbakır.

In February 2005, again with the support of the British Embassy, a seminar named "Problems of Homosexuals in Turkey" was organized for the embassies and international institutions in Ankara.

Kaos GL is a member of “National AIDS Coordination” that is formed within the secretariat of Ministry of Health. In 2005 and 2006, together with the ministry, we carried out the “Rainbow Project” which aimed to inform gay men about HIV/AIDS.

On 15th July 2005, Kaos GL was officially established as the first association in Turkey to work for sexual orientation and gender identity issues.