We have decided upon its focus: The rights of the intersex community, non-violence, ageing

We have decided upon its focus: The rights of the intersex community, non-violence, ageing

22/08/2020 | 17 Mayıs

We will carry out works regarding the rights of the intersex persons, non-violence, and ageing.

We have decided upon its focus: The rights of the intersex community, non-violence, ageing - May 17 Association

During the second day -22 August- of the strategic planning discussions, the new term projects and the long-term directions of the association were brought to the table. In addition to its ongoing counselling support projects to organizations working on HIV and LGBTI+ older persons, May 17 will now start working in different contexts.


Building Solidarity with the Intersex Organizations


First, Damla Umut Uzun talked about the joint project of May 17 with Intersex Turkey. Emphasizing that the project will take place with May 17’s aim of building the capacity of LGBTI+ organizations, Uzun said: “One of the major aims of May 17 is to support the activism of LGBTI+ community. We have adopted a facilitative role in helping the intersex movement to reach resources based on their own needs and agenda. In order to build solidarity with the intersex movement, we are planning to embark on the project as soon as possible.”




Following Uzun’s comments, Umut Güven talked about the project of “the culture of non-violence” that aims to build the capacity of both May 17 and the its collaborative organizations. Güven said: “We are a relatively new organization and this project is one that will form a basis and will strengthen it.” Güven further said the project includes non-violent organizing, the culture of non-violence, and non-violent action. It is hoped that, this project will pave the for equitable communities, and safe spaces for everyone within organizations.


May 17’s plans regarding “The Culture of Non-violence within LGBTI+ Organizations and Non-violent Organizing” are as follows:


- May 17 Workshops on Nonviolence: 2 workshops on non-violent organizing and the culture of non-violence will be held with the activists working for May 17 for two days. Shaping the future directions of the association, those two workshops will be held in order to strengthen the association’s own capacity.


- Workshops for LGBTI+ Organizations: Workshops lasting for a whole day on the culture of non-violence and non-violent action will be held for organizations that May 17 works with collaboratively.


- A Booklet on Non-violent Activism: To reach a wider spectrum of organizations and activists, and to strengthen and support the LGBTI+ movement, a written resource material will be produced with the outcome of those workshops and a literary review on the field.


Works on 40+ *Lubunya Community


After Güven, Umut Güner talked about the joint project of Kaos GL and May 17 to strengthen the initiative for 40+ Lubunya titled “**Balamoz is ***şugar”. Stating that they will be working to provide a platform where LGBTI+ older persons and LGBTI+ persons willing to get together to work on the process of aging can unite, Güner outlined the components of the project as follows:


- Information sharing meetings on studies of aging for 40+ Lubunya: Online events where personal experiences regarding aging can be shared, and issues on aging, sexual orientation, and sexual identity can be discussed will be held.


- Communication among generations: As an emerging need based on the previous works regarding aging of May 17, the issue of establishing communication among different generations so that they can better learn from each other will be addressed.


- Strategy Planning Meeting for 40+ Lubunya: 40+ Lubunya was established by 15 people hoping to lead their lives together and within 9 months many people have contacted the group to unite with them. The group later changed its name to 40+ Lubunya Aging Studies and decided to adopt a more inclusive organizational model. The strategy planning meeting will be held so that the group decides upon its own road map. 


- Meetings for Strengthening 40+ Lubunya: Meetings will be held for the founders of 40+ Lubunya to get together as the core team and to discuss their future directions.



Consultancy Support for the LGBTI+ Organizations


Following Güner, Metin Güzel talked about the consultancy support programme that aims to enhance the capacity of LGBTI+ organizations. Stating that they have provided consultancy support to many LGBTI+ organizations during the pandemic in areas ranging from resource building, project cycle to crisis management and strategy planning, Güzel said: “Our aim with this project is to create a pool of experts and to institutionalize the consultancy support.”


Reminding that the core support grant will lay the foundations of a platform whereby the association will act in accordance with its aims and beliefs, Güzel said: “As May 17, we aim to create a space for sources, experts, and areas of work both for our own and the other LGBTI+ organizations’ sustainability. We aim to provide support in areas of management, resource building, project cycle, finance, administrative affairs, crisis management, risk analysis, strategy planning, advocacy, monitoring, and reporting.”


Assuring that the association will also provide legal support to LGBTI+ organizations, Güzel claimed that “With the project, we are also planning to support works on HIV.”

How have May 17 provided consultancy support to LGBTI+ organizations so far?

The association, founded with the aim of strengthening the LGBTI+ community and its activism, has been providing support in areas of resource building, writing project plans, creating strategic plans, risk management, and management to LGBTI+ organizations since the day it was founded.  May 17 have provided consultancy support to 8 different LGBTI+ organizations in Ankara, Antalya, Bursa, İstanbul and Mersin so far.  Those LGBTI+ organization seeking for expert consultancy can contact info@17mayis.org.


* a Lubunca word that previously used to refer to feminine gays and trans women but later came to be used as an umbrella term to refer to all LGBTI+ persons


** a Lubunca word used to refer to an older man


*** a Lubunca word meaning very beautiful and nice



Translation: Kerem Selçuk

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