2010 LGBTT Pride Week, which 
is welcomed with great enthusiasm, every year towards the end of June…
is growing and flourishing day by day
from "we are incomplete without you"
to "we are more with you"…
becomes more diversified through workshops, panels, parties, and performances…
shatters homophobic minds with "Genetically Modified Tomato" awards …
gives power to LGBTT movement and reinforces our politics…
liberates our visibility through the voices of the thousands in istiklal,
fortunately makes us feel that we are all for one and happy solidarity 

What do we mean by pride?

once again, will be engraved in our memories on June 18th-28th in Istanbul. Don't promise to anyone!

Pride indicates the feeling of honor that LGBT, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans, individuals feel about their sexual orientations and identities. It is the opposite of the notion 'shame' which had been used in order to control and oppress LGBT individuals along history. It is an affirmation, a way of mentioning that 'We are not ashamed rather proud of our identities'.  

Originating Point of Pride Activities

So, where this celebration comes from? What is it we are celebrating? In actual fact, this is an anniversary. Moreover, it is the 41st anniversary that we celebrate this year. Exactly 41 years before now, on June 26th of 1969, in a LGBT bar in New York, Stonewall Inn, our trans, bisexual, lesbian, and gay friends rose against the inequalities they are exposed to. They could not keep silent about police and society oppression any longer. They stand against police and stopped them. In the following days, the street where the bar is located filled with LGBT people from all quarters of the city. That was a sign of the new coming days. This symbolic movement that was started in the streets still continues in different parts of the world after 41 years.      
Unfortunately, most of the people who participates in the celebration in 'Western' countries, do not know what they celebrate. Despite the participation of some political organizations, pride activities of the big cities of 'Western' countries have mostly turned out to a big party where the big local and multinational cooperation use LGBT consumer group for their marketing advertisements. Furthermore, it has turned out to a commercial activity where some insincere politicians show up for being sympathetic to LGBT voters. On the other hand, in Turkey, maybe timidly or excitedly, it is an important possibility for most of us to mention that 'I am here'. In most of the old Soviet or Eastern Block countries, it is an activity where LGBT people are exposed to attacks, sometimes cannot be carried out but eventually just the attempt itself becomes the part of the struggle.

The History of Pride Week in Turkey

In 1993, a few number of LGBT individuals attempted to organize 'Sexual Freedom Activities' in İstanbul which was end up by being forbidden by the province. After a very short time interval, Lambdaistanbul, the first LGBT organization in İstanbul, was founded. Since 1993, Pride Week Activities has being organizing by a voluntary group with the support of Lambdaistanbul.   

  • In 1993, the province forbade the 'Sexual Freedom Activities'.
  • In 2001, a party took place in a club called Club Orange with the participation of 600 people.
  • In 2003, the first 'Pride March' occurred in public space. Approximately 20-30 people participated in this first march.
  • In 2005, within Pride Week the first 'Genetically Modified Tomato Awards' was given to homophobic names and institutions among different fields.
  • In 2007, more than 1000 people were participated in the march. A 40m long rainbow flag was carried during the march. Besides, 2007 Pride Week activities were the first ones that might be considered as international.
  • In 2008, the number of the people who participated in the march was approximately 2500.