Kyrgyz writer Oljobay Shakir has published the country’s first work of art dedicated to transgender people. His story is based on real events – the author described the problems through the fate of his son.
Alik Shakirov is a transgender person. He was born a woman, but he felt like a man. It was not easy for him to realize all this. As a teenager, he experienced depression, suicidal thoughts, and conflicts with family. Many years later, his father, Oljobay Shakir, decided to make a revelation: he wrote a book about his transgender son and all the difficulties his family had to go through.
For a son, a woman’s name or a woman’s clothing is an insult. And it has been since childhood. But out of parental selfishness, we pressed, forced him, said, “A girl should look like this.” They lived by stereotypes. And to explain that LGBT people have no deviations, that they are not a mistake of nature at all, “said Olzhobai Shakir.
Olzhobai Shakira’s book “Adam +” was prompted by his acquaintance with Alik’s friends. According to the writer, most of them turned away from even their closest relatives. And he wanted to teach people tolerance – through art. Even if you have to go through hate attacks for that.
“For centuries, artists, philosophers and writers have been imprisoned, their works burned. This is because they are at the forefront of society. If art and literature do not resonate in society, it is not literature or art at all. If you are afraid, then should put aside ink and paper and do something else, “Olzhobai Shakir continues.
In the book about Alik, his father changed only a few names. Everything else – and his son’s brilliant victories in chess tournaments, and his periods of hatred for his own body – are quite real events. It turned out so truthfully that the son could not even read the story dedicated to him.
“It seemed to me that I was coming back again these days. And my heart was torn. I said, ‘Father, I can’t read, I don’t want to read.’ Well, he accepted,” says Alik Shakirov.
The first LGBT book in Kyrgyzstan has been translated into Russian, Kazakh and Uzbek, and has been published in several thousand copies with the support of international donors.
“The topic is, in fact, very hidden. People don’t like to talk about it. There is always stigma about those who talk about it. Even about human rights defenders who are starting to defend the LGBT community. I think a very good option was through an art book. to show people, ordinary people, especially those who read in Kyrgyz, that it can really affect everyone, “said Saikal Malik Kyzy, assistant project coordinator of the Smart Jaran association.
Oljobay Shakir spent two years creating the work “Adam +”. But he did not put an end to this. The writer promises to turn his book into a trilogy – and in each new part to continue to speak openly on complex topics.