Turkey’s first ever transgender fashion show was held earlier this week in the city of Istanbul.
The event was held to raise funds for LGBT charities in the country and also to raise awareness of various issues facing transgender individuals living in Turkey. All money at the event was given to LGBT shelters and charities that support the transgender community.
The event was organized by a number of trans activists and featured transgender catwalk models as well as transgender designers. As well as a celebration of transgender identities organizers also noted that they hoped the event would help change perceptions of transgender people. “We would rather be an object of entertainment than of violence”, activist Öykü Ay told the press.
Despite changing attitudes towards transgender people in Turkey many transgender individuals are often subjected to violence and discrimination. Earlier this year a trans woman was killed in Turkey in what many claimed was a transphobic attack. Despite the slowly improving situation in a largely conservative community LGBT charities have stated that life for many Turkish trans individuals is far from pleasant.
To view Reuters’ full photo feature covering the event click here.