Posted On 2/23/2019 11:56:00 PM, 4Comments

    This is an interview with a gay university student so some personal information is reserved and accordingly his name will be given as Y. AKGÖL. All permission was given by him considering all website provision.

If you don’t mind can you tell me about yourself?

  • My name is Y. AKGÖL. I am studying International Trades and Logistics at OMU. I am 23 years old. I am open-minded and very friendly guy. I really like getting know new people and travelling around. I like music I really like singing and playing violin. I live in Samsun, TURKEY

In Turkey, what do people do or say (or not do or say) if they want to be seen as gay [lesbian] [straight]?


  • In Turkey, especially in eastern and conservative part of Turkey, they generally try to hide their identity because of high level of homophobia. If they are gay or lesbian, they generally don’t talk about getting married and stereotype relationship issues. If they are straight, especially men try to make it clear with taking about girls and their relationships with them, especially in a sexist language.

How is this different in another country? How is it similar?

  • It’s generally easier to come out in European countries for gays. Community is also more open minded about LGBT community.

In Turkey/your university, which gender identities seem natural or acceptable? Which do not? How can you tell?

  • In Turkey and in my university only male and female gender identities seem natural. You can feel and see this in any part of life. Especially there is a huge transphobia in Turkey

Is it easy to identify someone as gay [straight] [lesbian]? Why or why not?

  • Generally, people think that it is about masculinity and femininity versions. If a woman is masculine they think that she is lesbian or ıf a guy is feminine they think that he is gay but it is not about that femininity and masculinity is just about behavior not about your orientation also you can be a masculine woman who is straight and also you can be a feminine guy who is straight but the general mentality of the public is that. One can ask the person ıf one thought that someone is gay or lesbian but I am not sure that is it really necessary or not. In Turkey, especially gays trying to hide their orientation with being and acting like masculine. Yeah, they are doing this way so you can never understand because there is a mentality like if a guy is a gay, he must be feminine so if a guy is not feminine, if he is masculine, they think that he is straight but it is totally wrong.

After people move from Turkey, do they change how they think about gender identities? If so, how? If not, why not?


  • Yes, they might change their mind but I think it depends on the country they moved to. For example; If they move to one of the Western European Countries, Scandinavian Countries or the USA, yeah, their minds can change but even in those countries, there are conservatives and religious groups which doesn’t gender identities instead of female and male so yeah it depends on the country. I think going abroad really changes minds because you are going away from your culture and your stereotypical mentality so yes going abroad makes you more open- minded so you become an open person to different things and different gender identities as well.


Have you (or your friend) ever alienated by your friends or bullied by someone because of your (their) gender identity?

  • I never alienated or bullied by my friends because my friend group is open-minded but in high-school times maybe I don’t know…

 Do you (or your friend) feel free with your gender?


  • I don’t think that ıf you have different gender identity other than stereotypes, you wouldn’t feel so comfortable in Turkey and I think that it is same for other countries.

Y.AKGÖL was really comfortable about interview, he was highy gladsome for talking and taking into considerations this kind of ignored issues as ELT students indeed he appreciated our project team and he doesn't hesitate striking a blow for our project.

Comments (4) -

Bill Snyder
2/25/2019 10:22:16 PM #

Hi Irem,

Thank you (and Y. Akgol) for sharing this interview. This is a good example of sharing voices that are not heard so often, and doing so in a supportive way.

I think another question you might have asked would be what he sees as a way forward for changing the situation regarding what gender identities are "natural" in the Turkish university environment. Of course, this would have to be done without making him feel responsible for the change but just to get another perspective on how equality might be supported.

I'm looking forward to coming to Turkey this spring, meeting you and the others involved in this project, and discussing all of these issues more.

Irem Demirci
3/1/2019 3:52:38 AM #

Thank you for your kind suggestions Mr. Snyder. I am looking forward to see you in the following months.  Best Regards.

Deniz Ortactepe
2/26/2019 2:38:06 PM #

Dear Irem,
First of all, thank you for choosing to conduct an interview with a friend of yours about LGBTQ issues.
I am glad to see that he brought up the stereotypes we have in our society just as we mentioned in our Webinar 3. That you can be a bit masculine as a woman but labelled as lesbian.
I have a couple of questions. In your interview or in your conversations with him, did he share any experiences of being subjected to homophobia? Did he mention any particular things he does to come across as more masculine to hide his identity?

Irem Demirci
3/1/2019 3:57:13 AM #

Thank you for your apprecaitive comment dear Ortaçtepe.Actually he told me some other things but he didn't want me to share on the blog to tell the truth ,but he doesn't face so much harrasments at all because he doesn't prefer to declare his gender identity in Tukish Society.

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Rabia Irem Demirci

4th year student in English Language Teaching at Ondokuz Mayis University