Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association is a Turkish organization that works for the betterment of the human rights of sex workers with different sexual orientations, genders and gender identities in Turkey.
The overall objective of Red Umbrella is to enhance the human rights situation of female, male and transgender sex workers. Red Umbrella thinks they are the least supported or visible group within the LGBT rights community. Sex workers in general in Turkey are marginalized and their needs are continuously ignored by public officials. When it comes to gay, bisexual or transgender sex workers, the problem becomes bigger because both society and public officials are highly homophobic and transphobic.
The main goal of the An Invisible Reality project is to visibilize the problems of male sex workers who are gay or bisexual, especially with regard to violence and safety issues. The project wants to reach out to 30 sex workers in Ankara, conduct a questionnaire and face-to-face interviews with them, while training them on safety issues in regards to violence and visibilising their needs and demands.
The Red Umbrella team are sex workers themselves and know first hand what the problems and the needs of sex workers are. Red Umbrella has provided legal assistance to gay and bisexual male sex workers who have been victims of police brutality, ill-treatment and discrimination. The organization also runs a centre that acts as a meeting place, where gay and bisexual sex workers can socialize, get condoms/lubricants, read books and attend small-scale events like workshops and discussions.