Who We Are

Who We Are

The Rainbow Association Against Discrimination is the largest platform where LGBTI+ associations in Turkey have come together. The association, which has its roots in the platforms and networks formed by LGBTI+ organizations to act together, aims to improve the capacities of LGBTI+ associations. 

Our Members

May 17 Association: May 17 Association, which aims to strengthen the LGBTI+ community and its activism, was founded on September 2, 2019 in Ankara. It focuses on Empowerment, Advocacy and Capacity Building programs. It provides psycho-social and legal support to LGBTI+ persons and rights defenders, and offers personal and institutional well-being support under its well-being program. The main advocacy areas are aging, HIV, climate, poverty, intersex and local governments. May 17 Association is named after May 17, 1990, the day homosexuality was removed from the "International Classification of Diseases" by the World Health Organization. The association carries out its activities with the motto "Not to be alone, not to be impoverished, not to be deprived".

Young LGBTI+ Association: Young LGBTI+ was founded in 2016 by LGBTI+ university students in Izmir. It specializes in LGBTI+ rights, gender equality and youth rights. The association, which works to build an equal, fair and livable life especially for young LGBTI+s, advocates locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. It also provides LGBTI+s with the counseling and support they need. It organizes events to raise the awareness of mental health professionals, students and local government employees, and conducts workshops on sexual health and the rights of young people. It monitors the rights of young LGBTI+ persons and develops policy recommendations. The association also cooperates with local governments in these activities.  

HEVI LGBTI+ Association: Founded by minority LGBTI+ individuals who came together in 2015, the organization is based in Istanbul. Although its activities are centered in Istanbul, it conducts workshops in various cities including Eskişehir, Yalova, Van, Diyarbakır, Ankara, İzmir, and Mersin. The association engages in work related to refugees, minorities, and health. Its efforts encompass promoting multilingual initiatives, expanding sexual health and safety projects specific to LGBTI+ individuals, mainstreaming Gender Equality, empowering Minority and Refugee LGBTI+ individuals, and monitoring LGBTI+ cases. Since 2018, HEVI LGBTI+ Association has been providing legal support for LGBTI+ individuals, and since 2015, it has been offering peer counseling.

Kaos GL Association: On September 20, 1994, the first issue of Kaos GL magazine was published in Ankara. Kaos GL became an association on July 15, 2005 and became a legal entity. It operates through Media and Communication, Academic and Cultural Studies, Human Rights and Refugee Rights programs. It publishes KaosGL.org internet newspaper, Kaos GL and KaosQueer+ magazines, annual human rights reports, employment and hate crime research. It provides counseling to refugee LGBTI+ persons. It organizes human rights trainings, anti-homophobia meetings, exhibitions, media schools, artist residency program, the story contest Women to Women, Feminist Forum and anti-discrimination lectures. It organizes through networks in areas such as education and trade unions. The association carries out its activities with the motto "The liberation of homosexuals will liberate heterosexuals".

Lambdaistanbul LGBTI+ Solidarity Association: Lambdaistanbul emerged as a civil society initiative in 1993, opened the Lambda Cultural Center in Beyoğlu, Istanbul in 2002, started organizing the Istanbul Pride March in 2003, and gained the status of an official association in 2006. Lambdaistanbul is a grassroots organization that adopts horizontal organization as a principle and works to strengthen the LGBTI+ community across Turkey, primarily in Istanbul by promoting solidarity, providing peer counseling, establishing connections with local governments in Istanbul, organizing various activities for the dissemination and exchange of experience and socializing, and similar areas of activism.

Mersin 7 Colors LGBT Education Research and Solidarity Association: Mersin 7 Colors LGBT Association was founded in Mersin in 2013 by 7 trans women who demanded a humane world where people are not subjected to discrimination and violation of rights based on any categorical definition such as sexual orientation and gender identity, and where free, peaceful and absolute equality prevails in all areas of social life. The association carries out its activities at local, regional and national level to increase LGBTI+ awareness in all areas of social life. It carries out anti-transphobia, anti-homophobia and anti-biphobia activities, works for LGBTI+ visibility, litigation proceedings, reporting on rights violations against LGBTI+ people, and organizes various activities such as trainings, workshops, conferences, panels, exhibitions, symposiums and workshops in scientific, cultural, artistic and social fields.

Muamma LGBTI+ Education Research and Solidarity Association: Founded in November 2018, Muamma LGBTI+ provides psychosocial support, peer counseling and legal counseling to LGBTI+ people living in all cities of Turkey, especially in Mersin. The association works against all forms of discrimination by adopting a field of work where all human rights of LGBTI+ persons and other citizens who are discriminated against due to their sexual orientation and gender identity are observed. Muamma LGBTI+ works to support people who identify their sexual orientation and gender identity outside the realms of heterosexism to fulfill their existence in terms of gender identity and sexual orientation and to contribute to the development of social peace, tranquility and prosperity by self-cultivation and has an imagination of such a world.

Free Colors Association: The Free Colors Association, whose mission is to fight against hatred, discrimination and prejudice based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender characteristics and gender expression, as well as to empower LGBTI+ people and promote human rights, started its journey as a Student Community at Uludağ University in 2013, as a working group of Nilüfer City Council in 2014 and then as an association in 2016. The work of the association consists of four main programs: Support/Counseling, Empowerment, Advocacy and Culture/Art. The association continues its activities upon the desire of the mother of İrem Okan, whom we lost in a hate crime in Bursa in 2010, to ensure that LGBTI+s live and take root in a safe, free and fearless environment. The words of her mother was: "they couldn't even accommodate my child in this big world of ours". 

Pink Life LGBTI+ Solidarity Association: Pink Life was founded on June 30, 2006 in Ankara. The association, which produces projects and provides direct support services on issues such as discrimination, hate crimes, violence and social exclusion against transgender people, continues its advocacy activities nationally and internationally. It provides counseling on education, health and integration processes. It provides legal and psychological counseling services. The association organizes the "Trans Camp" where transgender people come together, supports the Clothes Bank in the name of Dilek İnce, who was killed while fighting against gangs in Eryaman, by sending clothes to LGBTI+ people in need, especially in prisons. The association organizes the LGBTI+ film festival the Pink Life QueerFest. The festival draws attention to discrimination and violence against LGBTI+ people and creates an opportunity to discuss and debate queer theory and art in Turkey.

Social Policy, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association: SPoD set out in 2011 with the hope of a fair, equal and free world under the rainbow. The Istanbul-based association offers legal, social, psychological counseling and peer counseling to LGBTI+ persons. It creates support groups, conducts litigation and strategic litigation.  It organizes trainings for private companies and municipalities, mental health experts and lawyers. It conducts academic research, organizes seminars and panels, and prepares reports. It runs schools of politics and activism, lobbying and advocacy at local and national level, and election campaigns. It carries out all these activities with its professional staff, volunteers and expert networks.

University LGBTQ+ Studies and LGBTQ+ Solidarity Association (ÜniKuir): Established in February 2020 by a group of LGBTQ+ activists who advocate for LGBTQ+ rights on university campuses, ÜniKuir aims to promote equal rights for LGBTQ+ individuals throughout the country, starting from campuses and extending to cities. The association strives to create safe and inclusive spaces for all LGBTQ+ individuals, especially LGBTQ+ university students. It aims to prevent hate speech and hate crimes on campuses, generate anti-discrimination policies and measures, amplify the LGBTQ+ voice in the media, and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights both nationally and internationally. ÜniKuir carries out its activities in collaboration with LGBTQ+ self-organizations on university campuses, which it considers as its most important partners, under the framework of programs such as "Access to Equal Rights," "Media and Communication," "Organization and Solidarity," and "Political Participation and Advocacy."