Many LGBT and queer individuals living in Turkey on Friday are alarmed at the thousands rallying against LGBTQ rights in the country, as the apparent government support against LGBTQ rights shows the conservative swerve of the country.

Over ten thousand protesters came out last Sunday to the Big Family Gathering to push lawmakers to ban LGBT content and organizations in the country, as they claim that LGBT people are “evil” and that they are only doing this to “protect [their] family and generation,” according to the Washington Blade.

This rally has caused major distress to many of the LGBT and queer individuals living in Turkey, with nonbinary drag performer Willie Ray expressing fear that they may be harassed and even killed in the current climate that Turkey has against LGBT people, according to the Associated Press.

“I feel like I can be publicly lynched,” they said.

As pro-LGBT protests and demonstrations in Turkey appear to be getting more and more restricted since 2015 due to alleged security and morality grounds, with the latest Pride protest march in the country getting 370 people arrested, the anti-LGBT demonstration received very little pushback from authorities.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was previously more receptive toward the rights of LGBTQ individuals in the country, has now found himself spouting conservative talking points about the community, claiming that homosexuality “brings disease and causes the generation to decay.”

As anti-LGBT groups continue to push laws that ban pro-LGBT content and ideas from providers such as Netflix, LGBT advocacy groups in the country such as The Social Policy, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association appear to be scrubbing their address and numbers online as they receive more and more threatening calls.

Despite this, gay activist Umut Rojda Yildirim believes that this rally does not reflect what the Turkish community truly thinks of the LGBT community, claiming that those protestors are a small minority who are “louder when they have government funds, when they’re supported by the government watchdog."

“You can just shut down an office, but I’m not going to disappear. My other colleagues aren’t going to disappear. We’ll be here no matter what,” he said.

Many in Turkey's LGBTQ community find themselves fearful after Sunday's anti-LGBT demonstration from the conservative side of the country, as the government continues its shift towards anti-LGBT policies. This is a representational image. Nikolas Gannon/Unsplash.

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