Tbilisi audio tour puts Georgian trans people on the map

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11/22/20

Georgian event aimed at raising awareness about LGBT+ issues by putting people into the shoes of transgender men and women living in Tbilisi By Umberto Bacchi TBILISI, Nov 22 (Openly) – Standing on the stairway of Tbilisi’s iconic circus, about 20 people listened through headphones on Sunday as a voice explained how a building normally associated with fun and joy was to some a place of misery and sex work. The group was taking part in an audio tour of the Georgian capital organised by a local LGBT+ group to shine a light on the lives of transgender men and women in the socially conservative Caucasian nation. “Miracles do not happen here,” Nata, a trans woman, said in the audio recording about the Soviet-era hilltop building, the green surroundings of which are known to provide shelter to sex workers at night, including trans sex workers. “This is not a place for stories like ‘Pretty Woman’ … After you come here once, it’s very hard to get away,” she said, referring to the Hollywood film starring Julia Roberts as a prostitute who falls in love with a rich businessman. Shunned by their families, trans people in Georgia often rely on sex work to make a living as discrimination and the lack of regulations on legal gender recognition make it difficult find regular jobs, according to LGBT+ groups.

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