On the occasion of commemorating 20th of November, International Day of Remembrance, at the Institute for Public Health „Dr. Milan Jovanović Batut“ in Belgrade, a round table discussion Transphobia in Serbian society – Trans* existence, trans* discrimination and trans* rights was organized by Citizen Association “Egal” and CSO “Gayten-LGBT”.
This event represented a historical moment for trans* community in Serbia – for the first time in a public institution trans* persons had the opportunity to personally speak about their everyday problems with representatives of authorized institutions.
“I have to admit it is not usual for these kind of events take place at the Institute, so I consider this as the beginning of what this institute should present. Within the Institute “Batut” we tend to deal with trasn* population as well and we have the information on issues they are facing everyday”, said prim. Dr. Dragan Ilić, director of the Institute, during the introduction.
On transphobia and the challenges members of trans* community are facing on everyday basis, as well as on the institutional level spoke: Kosana Beker, assistant of the Commissioner for Protection of Equality and manageress of the Sector for dealing with complaints, Boris Milićević, politician, Predrag Azdejković, journalist, Rajka Popović, activis of CSO “Egal” and Kristian Ranđelović, activist of “Gayten-LGBT”. Round table discussion was facilitated by Farida Bassioni-Stamenić.
It was discussed on prejudice, stereotypes and lack of understanding, which are deeply rooted in the society, on sensational media reporting and inadequate usage of language, as well as on the tragic victims of transphobia in Serbia, Vjeran Miladinović Merlinka, Minja Kočiš i Darko Vujanović.
Team of doctors and experts in different field significant for trans* health were a crucial part of a two-hours long discussion. Not only trans* persons were able to ask questions directly to the information source and present their impediments regarding medical procedures, among others, on the availability of relevant information, adequate access to healthcare and access to hormones, but the experts also had the opportunity to meet the persons they are proving help and gain necessary information “firsthand”. Besides exchanging information, the conclusion of this part of discussion was the notion of necessity of these kind of encounters for the improvement of quality of healthcare services and, at the same time, for the improvement of quality of life of trans* persons in Serbia.