Photo: Tulya Çavuşoğlu

The following article was prepared for Bianet on September 8, 2021:

After almost two years of the pandemic, this year’s Queer Olympix meeting was also important and exciting for LGBTI+ sports activists to physically come together.

“Queer Olympix, Turkey’s first queer Olympics organized in Istanbul, took place last weekend despite all the pressure and bans. Lubunyas doing sports activism in many different cities of Turkey came together at the event.

Organized in 2015 by Atletik Dildoa, an LGBTI+ football team founded in Istanbul, this year Queer Olympix was attended by more than 100 people from various cities in Turkey.

Organized in 2017 and 2018 with great enthusiasm, Queer Olympix was banned by Kadıköy District Governorate in 2019 on the grounds that it was ‘contrary to public morality and public health’.

The lawsuit filed against this ban with the legal support of the Social Policy, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association (SPoD) was concluded in favor of Queer Olympix in 2020. However, in the same year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Queer Olympix was held online.

In kalamis again!

After almost two years of the pandemic, this year’s Queer Olympix meeting was also important and exciting for LGBTI+ sports activists to come together physically.

The Queer Olympix event, which took place in different venues in Istanbul, took place on August 27-28-29. The past, present and future of LGBTI+s in sports were discussed at the event, which was attended by the teams active in lubunya sports activism today, as well as people from the communities that took part in the fields in previous years and came together with various activities.

Atletik Dildoa, Olympik Khalkedon, Q-Bitches, Muamma from Mersin, Pembe Hayat from Ankara and Lolitop from Kocaeli participated in the event. The Olympix Mix formed by individual participants also took part in the matches as every year.

Lubunyas who met in workshops and circles also competed in soccer, beach volleyball, dodgeball and long jump. In the event where being together, not winning, was the main motivation, everyone enjoyed taking part in sports as they are and as they wish. Queer Olympix 2021 ended with the award ceremony and closing party, where awards determined by non-norm scoring criteria were given to teams and individuals.

About Queer Olympix

It is an event covering various sports branches spread over three days that we organized in order to alleviate the difficulties we experience as women and LGBTI+ due to many discriminatory, sexist, phobic discourses and acts in urban life, to come together and say ‘we existed in public space, we will exist’.

Queer sports meeting that does not include discrimination and hate speech; where every body, every gender can play games with pleasure and where passes are distributed equally, without swearing, creative team games.