LGBT gay trans refugee sex worker Syria Syrian Istanbul Turkey photography photos prostitution work

Wissam, 23, Damascus, Syria. "I'm flying without limits...♥︎ ♥︎ ♥︎ ". $150

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Struggling to survive financially in exile, these gay and transgender refugees work as escorts in Istanbul, Turkey, a practice often referred to as 'survival sex.'


They find their customers online, on mobile apps, in bars and clubs, and through word of mouth. 


Selling sexual services is a reality for many LGBT refugees, and is sometimes the difference between being able to eat and pay rent, or sleeping rough. 


Sex workers can face exploitation, rape, and even murder. 


Prices shown are what the individual charges for various sexual services.  

Refugees in the commercial sex industry are most often women, but the culture of sex work amongst refugees has long since crossed into the LGBT sphere. Over the past six years Istanbul has hosted an increasing number of LGBT asylum seekers who arrived to the city from Iraq, Syria, Iran, and elsewhere as it became somewhat of an open minded hub for the communities. 


The combined struggles of being LGBT, a sex worker, and a refugee result in many of these men and women to live in fear, or become reckless, regardless of the very real threats they face through doing this work.



LGBT gay trans refugee sex worker Syria Syrian Istanbul Turkey photography photos prostitution work

'Julia' 28, Idlib, Syria. "I will not turn to the past because my future is bright" 50-100 Turkish Liras

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LGBT gay trans refugee sex worker Syria Syrian Istanbul Turkey photography photos prostitution work

Ammar, 19, Damascus, Syria. "I'm Gay and I'm proud ♥︎ ". 200 Turkish Liras

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LGBT gay trans refugee sex worker Syria Syrian Istanbul Turkey photography photos prostitution work

Dea, 22, Aleppo, Syria. "I won't hide my queerness" $150

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LGBT gay trans refugee sex worker Syria Syrian Istanbul Turkey photography photos prostitution work

Wissam, 23, Damascus, Syria. "No matter how much we are different, we shouldn't argue. Wissam from Damascus. I studied accounting" $150

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LGBT gay trans refugee sex worker Syria Syrian Istanbul Turkey photography photos prostitution work

Wissam, 23, Damascus, Syria. "I'm naturally this way" 150 Turkish Liras

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LGBT gay trans refugee sex worker Syria Syrian Istanbul Turkey photography photos prostitution work

'Majid' 28, Aleppo, Syria. "A dead body ♥︎ ". $100

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LGBT gay trans refugee sex worker Syria Syrian Istanbul Turkey photography photos prostitution work

Mark, 19, Latakia, Syria. "Being famous" 200 Turkish Liras

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LGBT gay trans refugee sex worker Syria Syrian Istanbul Turkey photography photos prostitution work

'Julia' 28, Idlib, Syria. "am different but for the best ☺ " 50-100 Turkish Liras

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LGBT gay trans refugee sex worker Syria Syrian Istanbul Turkey photography photos prostitution work

Wissam, 23, Damascus, Syria. "This is my body....I am free" $150

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LGBT gay trans refugee sex worker Syria Syrian Istanbul Turkey photography photos prostitution work

Ammar, 19, Damascus, Syria. "I don't even care". 200 Turkish Liras

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LGBT gay trans refugee sex worker Syria Syrian Istanbul Turkey photography photos prostitution work

Dea, 22, Aleppo, Syria. "Queer and proud" 600 Turkish Liras

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LGBT gay trans refugee sex worker Syria Syrian Istanbul Turkey photography photos prostitution work

'Majid', 28, Aleppo, Syria. "I love you" $100

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LGBT gay trans refugee sex worker Syria Syrian Istanbul Turkey photography photos prostitution work

'Julia', 28, Idlib, Syria. "After all life is...beautiful...♥︎ " 50-100 Turkish Liras

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LGBT gay trans refugee sex worker Syria Syrian Istanbul Turkey photography photos prostitution work

Ammar, 19, Damascus, Syria. "Love is Love" 200 Turkish Liras

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LGBT gay trans refugee sex worker Syria Syrian Istanbul Turkey photography photos prostitution work

Dea, 22, Aleppo, Syria. "Give me my freedom" €75

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LGBT gay trans refugee sex worker Syria Syrian Istanbul Turkey photography photos prostitution work

Wissam, 23, Damascus, Syria. "respect me..." $150

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LGBT gay trans refugee sex worker Syria Syrian Istanbul Turkey photography photos prostitution work

'Majid' 28, Aleppo, Syria. "I want stability" $100

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LGBT gay trans refugee sex worker Syria Syrian Istanbul Turkey photography photos prostitution work

Mark, 19, Latakia, Syria. "♥︎" 200 Turkish Liras. 

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LGBT gay trans refugee sex worker Syria Syrian Istanbul Turkey photography photos prostitution work

'Julia', 28, Idlib, Syria. "I'm respecting you...also you should to do..." 50 Turkish Liras

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LGBT gay trans refugee sex worker Syria Syrian Istanbul Turkey photography photos prostitution work

Dear, 22, Aleppo, Syria. "We want to live in peace" €75


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LGBT gay trans refugee sex worker Syria Syrian Istanbul Turkey photography photos prostitution work

'Majid', 28, Aleppo, Syria. $100

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LGBT gay trans refugee sex worker Syria Syrian Istanbul Turkey photography photos prostitution work

Ammar, 19, Damascus, Syria. "Ammar from Sham (Damascus)". 200 Turkish Liras

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LGBT gay trans refugee sex worker Syria Syrian Istanbul Turkey photography photos prostitution work

Wissam, 23, Damascus, Syria. $150

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LGBT gay trans refugee sex worker Syria Syrian Istanbul Turkey photography photos prostitution work

'Julie', 28, Idlib, Syria. "We are the colours of the universe" 50-100 Turkish Liras.

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LGBT gay trans refugee sex worker Syria Syrian Istanbul Turkey photography photos prostitution work

Mark, 19, Latakia, Syria. €50

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LGBT gay trans refugee sex worker Syria Syrian Istanbul Turkey photography photos prostitution work

'Majid' 28, Aleppo, Syria. "Life is sweet and its life". $100

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LGBT gay trans refugee sex worker Syria Syrian Istanbul Turkey photography photos prostitution work

Mark, 19, Latakia, Syria. "Gay and proud" €50

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