Murat Renay is doing something brave by creating an online forum and community depicting LGBT lives in Turkey. Calling it a “reference blog for gays in a muslim-priority country,” he hopes to depict the various facets of a life many in more progressive countries like the United States take for granted. He says he plans to show “our lives, our parents’ lives, our icons, our music, our movies, our art and artists, our gay scene and everything that anyone can wonder about gay Turkey.”
Renay is the author of two books: SÖYLENMEYEN (The Unsaid) and BEN SENÄ°N BÄ°LDÄ°ÄžÄ°N ERKEKLERDEN DEÄžÄ°LÄ°M (I am not the type of guys that you’d know), both, like his blog, dealing with the perception and lives of the LGBT community in Turkey.
As we celebrate recent political and social victories here in the U.S., we must remember that others throughout the world face constant discrimination, and often times danger, on a political and social level. Awareness and acknowledgement are keystones of progress, and when someone is attempts to drive it forward, we should pay attention.
Renay answered a few questions for dot429’s Member Spotlight. Check out his answers below.
What do you do?
I am a fighter of homophobia, author and blogger, and a DJ.
Why do you do it?
I do it for my personal satisfaction. I have to feed my soul. I am a product manager in the telecommunications sector also, but that’s what I am doing to feed my stomach only.
What accomplishment in your career to date are you most proud of?
I am so proud that I have convinced some heterosexuals (recent homophobes or those ignorant to LGBT facts) to tolerate and empathize with LGBT individuals. When they tell me their stories after they’ve read my books and blog, I am thinking that I’ve really made a change and I am so proud of it. In April 2012, I asked people to send their photos with my books to fight against homophobia, and hundreds of photos came to my e-mail.
Who has made the biggest impact on you in life so far, and why?
I was fired from my job (in the telecommunications sector) which was when I decided to begin a journey as an author. At that time, I thought it was the worst thing that happened to me – but recently I have realized that it’s the “best worst” thing that happened to me. So this person must be my ex-boss who fired me.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Constructive, positive, stubborn (if needed)
What is something that not a lot of people know about you, but you wish more people could know?
I think of myself as a fun person, but when I am with my friends, I want to control how they will have fun. It turns out that I am a control freak. But I am a fun person in normal conditions. I want this to be known.
If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be?
I would trade places with our president Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan so that I could approve all the draft bills about LGBT rights in Turkey. This way, he can be useful for my community for the first time.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you?
I would love Henry Cavill to play the lead, because he’s smokin’ hot – but he may be “too athletic” for this part as I am a bit chubby…but still, I would want Jake Gyllenhaal to play this role.
Where would you go if you had a time machine?
I am really curious about the 1970’s San Francisco/Castro gay community. The Harvey Milk times. So i would definitely go to that time and place.
What is your motto?
Living well is the best revenge
Visit Renay’s blog here.
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