Arts and Culture

Novel about Transsexual Banned for Under-18s

Saturday, August 15, 2009
The Prime Ministerial Board for Broadcasts/Publications Harmful to the Underaged has decided that the book "Third Class Woman" (Ucuncu Sinif Kadin") written by Anil Alacaoglu cannot be sold to under-18-year-olds and cannot be advertised.

The book, so the author, is about "the loves, sexual experiences, separations, discrimination and problems experienced by a transsexual from childhood into their twenties."

Alacaoglu said that the ban on the book was "a result of the mentality that presumes that children cannot be homosexual or transsexual."

"I expected some negative reactions towards the book, but the notification we received made me worried about the outdated restrictions the book faces."

Outdated ban
The author said that he found out from a newspaper that his book had been considered harmful. He was sent a notification ten days later. It reads:

"It praises homosexuality, which Turkish society does not accept as moral, and anal relations with people of the same sex, which is again not normal for Turkish traditions and customs. Of course such abnormal and perverted relations would affect the mental development of children negatively."

Alacaoglu argues that this mentality wants to prevent children from discovering their sexual orientations or identities.

"They don't want children to judge for themselves. They are trying to prevent them from questioning and discovering themselves and trying to keep them uninformed by banning books, films and Internet websites."

"There is a growing LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) movement in Turkey. This ban is part of the mentality that feels uncomfortable with it."

The writer said he was not frightened by the ban. "On the contrary, I am happy that I have shared my discomfort, and the discomfort of many others like me, with the public. There is something to be taken serious there."

Alacaoglu describes himself as part of the LGBT movement in Turkey. He said that the ban has motivated him to focus on LGBT issues in his second book, too.

Original Link of this News Article: "Novel about Transsexual Banned for Under-18s"
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