(For safety reasons, names mentioned below won’t be reflecting our real names)
My name is Megan and I am from Turkey.
I newly started studying Medicine at the University of Turin in Italy and I have been in a happy and fulfilling relationship with my other half Angela for almost over a year now.
We are both twenty years old and she studies at Koc University in Istanbul.
To begin with, I must say I have a very supporting and loving family that only focuses on my happiness and well-being regardless of everything else.
I came out at 15 and my whole family (even my cousins, aunt, grandparents) is very supportive of my lifestyle both financially and mentally.
Yet, unfortunately, approximately 90-95% of the individuals which identify themselves as Queer or LGBTQ+ in Turkey are not lucky as I am. And so is Angela.
The majority of the LGBTQ+ people here are exposed to discrimination, exclusion and oppression. Some get even raped and exposed to hate murders by fanatically homophobic/transphobic individuals. According to Wikipedia, between the years of 2002 and 2013, there were 69 transgender/ transexual murders. Those statistics have actually doubled through the years.
Angela decided to come out to her father as a lesbian in December 2019.
She lacked a sense of belonging in her family because of her identity: she is from Mersin, which is a small and extremely conservative city when it comes to approach to LGBTQ rights/ LGBTQ individuals.
She felt comfortable to came out only to her father. Her mother’s behavior had in fact been always fanatically traumatic towards this issue. Angela had already tried to give hints of her true self in the past but her mother’s response was overly negative. Moreover, her brother was proud to be homophobic and would never accept her sister belonging to the LGBT+ community.
So, she came out to her father.
However, things did not turn well as she expected. At first her father was reassuring, but after a month he revealed this issue to the family members without Angela’s consent. At that time Angela was not even at home, she was away at University, in Istanbul.
That’s when everything started.
The night she came home to Mersin for the usual semester break her family immediately attacked her; for them this was an unacceptable disgrace and a dishonor to her family.
Then, they forced her to confess that she also liked boys; this made everything worse and traumatized her psychologically. At this time, Angela had an extreme panic attack: she wasn't able to breath for over minute.
Her family, instead of calming her down and trying to keep situation under control, told her that now that she liked boys everything was going to be okay and she’d better get used to it quickly.
That night, all of them warned her that they would never be able to accept her as a lesbian. They told her to stop that “instinctive obsession” and suggested her to like boys in order to become a “valid person”. Her mother inhumanely insulted her and told her she’d prefer her daughter to be a prostitute rather than a lesbian (to give you some insight, prostitutes are probably the most despised and oppressed individuals in Turkey).
It didn’t matter how Angela hysterically cried.
They even threatened her that if she did not break up with her girlfriend (me), they would take away her school tuition and disown her. They threatened her to move her education in a university in Mersin, in order to control her in every possible aspect of her life.
Ironically, they also told her that they loved her unconditionally and they were doing everything for her and for whole family’s sake.
After end of the night, Angela promised to do what they ordered, in order to protect her education and, overall, her life.
Angela went back to Istanbul two weeks later.
There were remarkable differences on her physical appearance as she lost at least three or four pounds, she showed visible hair loss and severe acnes. She became weaker, quieter and more self-conscious.
As soon as Angela arrived in Istanbul her mother started to call her every single day, at least two or three times, to make sure she wasn’t with me. Her mother said that her mobile phone and whole devices were hacked and under control of a detective that they hired to make sure that she didn’t continue her “immoral” relationship with me. We thought she as bluffing, but then the day Angela told her that we had broken up, her mother showed her recently taken pictures of us together.
This situation triggered further panic attacks and paranoia.
Angela was becoming depressive and suicidal day by day; everything was overly intimidating and overwhelming to her and she could not find the strength to fight this situation.
Under this pressure, we decided it would have been better to break up, but we couldn’t manage to do it. We couldn’t imagine living our life without the love and presence of one another.
As a consequence, we decided to fight together to endure this nightmare and to finally obtain the peace and happiness we deserved. I hold (still) her no matter what and I still try my best to make sure that she is not fighting alone.
We decided to meet secretly. We were very careful not to get caught. However, it lasted briefly.
The Covid-19 situation occurred, and she had to instantly go back to her hometown. Within the beginning of march, her actual nightmare started. Her family’s mental abuse increased even more. They told her that everything would be easier if she would just break up with me. So, they prohibited her from having any contact with her friends from the university, and to avoid any contact with me; they seized her phone and all her devices for three months. During this time, we didn’t talk for three months, not even for a second.
They decreased her budget to very small amount, only buy necessities (food, transportation and house expenses). Even more, they prohibited her to be alone in her room, every single hour except for sleeping times.
With all of this happening, Angela’s anxiety attacks increased enormously. She started to feel like her heart was beating like she was running marathon, there was serious ache in her heart that made for her harder to breath properly, and she always found herself having palpitations. She then decided to see a doctor and she was diagnosed with a little cardiac arrhythmia.
After the diagnosis, her mother decided to force her to see a therapist. Angela had a therapy session with the university’s psychologist, but it did not help her, not even slightly. As the time passed, Angela lost more weight and at one point she wasn’t even able to get out of the bed. Then, she became more and more quiet but also aggressive towards herself. She was feeling extremely regretful for everything that has ever happened to her. I tried to do everything in my power to help and support her, but this wasn’t enough, and so I decided to make something different.
Recently, we started her working process for getting accepted by Italian universities yet there are financial struggles appearing as a obstacle to obtain our main goal. We have come to realization that, there isn’t any guarantee for Angela that she won’t be starving in Italy or will be able to pay rent as we are not able to afford moving her to abroad and paying visa expenses. If we could manage to get her in Italy, she can afford life expenses with the part-time job she will be getting and the ISEE scholarship we are hoping to get. However, for that scholarship and to get a student visa, we need to prove that she is able to maintain her life without her family’s support. Because of this reason, she should have at least € 7000 in her bank account to show the officials that conducting the scholarship process.
Please prevent Angela killing her true self by not letting her to suppress her true identity. Instead of witnessing her living the crucial vicious circle as she is being, inhumanly exposed to over-dose abuse and abasement while having thoughts of permanent disappearing as the best choice she could make, be a part of her destiny by giving a merciful and healing hand that can generate the safe environment where she can become her true self with the support and love of her everlasting partner and friends.
There are some materials that we'll hope will serve as proof of this sad story:
- an email that Angela’s friends sent to her university's help department,
- the letter my psychologist gave me
- the personal convo with my best friend
- Grace Plumridge
- Alessandro Geirola
- Paola Oliviero
- Elisabetta Bizzarri
- Rita Ugo
Fundraising team: Team Help Angela! (4)
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