While LGBT studies have been problematizing normative categories of sexuality primarily in Western cultures, the status of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals in non-Western societies remains understudied. This study examines the political attitudes toward LGBT individuals in Turkish society and explores the experiences of transgender individuals. While Turkey holds a strong economic position among Western countries, the situation of sexual minorities lags behind international standards. This study explores two research questions. First, what is the Turkish government’s outlook for the LGBT community? Secondly, what kind of problems and challenges do trans-individuals experience in Turkey? This study first introduces a macro-level analysis of the politics of gender identity in Turkey by analyzing the debates of four deputies in the Turkish Parliament, each representing their parties’ disparate viewpoints. Secondly, a micro-level analysis of previously collected interviews with twenty-five trans-individuals are also examined that shed light on the difficulties of being a trans-individual in Turkey. The content analysis shows that trans-individuals experience physical, sexual, and emotional violence, in addition to experiencing discrimination in employment, housing, and healthcare. The findings of this micro-level analysis elucidate the continuous discrimination, inequality, and violence that these individuals experience, while the macro-level analysis portrays the state’s discriminatory policies toward LGBT individuals in Turkey.
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