During her visit to Istanbul in 2008 Diana Blok discovered an active gay nightlife more visible and open than expected. She imagined the lesbian world to be totally hidden but found it to be most open in terms of meeting and speaking, even though there is no clear lesbian community. Gay bars for men are more common, but their willingness to share their lives was more hidden. It is better to be a tough woman in Turkey, they said, than a fragile man.
Diana Blok got in touch with two organizations (Pink House and KAOS GL), both active with issues of sexual orientation and gender identity for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals concerning human rights. With their help she found subjects who could relate to her photographic work and were willing to pose for the camera and speak openly about their lives. They shared their courageous, heartfelt stories and the difficulties they face to be free human beings within the traditional society in which they live. Many gay men, lesbians or transsexuals lead a double life. It is a complex subject within a complex country in the process of change. Some socio-cultural aspects are opening, others disappearing and yet others hiding. Physical and psychological harassment towards these individuals is still common.