A social organisation for lesbian, trans and bisexual people in the central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan has taken its first steps toward wider acceptance by publishing a brochure about homosexuality.

Representatives of Labris told a press conference in the capital Bishkek that Homosexuality: A Kyrgyzstan Reality has an initial print run of 1,000 copies, half of them in Russian and the other 500 in Kyrgyz.

The group has more than 100 members and provides legal and emotional advice, information and support to lesbian, bisexual and trans Kyrgyzstanis.

“The most frequent problems for homosexuals and bisexuals is discrimination from members of the other sexual orientation,” Labris leader A. Kirry told AKIpress agency.

“Society and government don’t see the incidents of violence committed against this group.

“That’s why we have sent these brochures to Ombudsman Tursunbai Bakir and to public defender Tursunbek Akunu, to acquaint them with how this group of people lives. So that they know what’s going on.”

The brochure explains what homosexuality is and how homophobia and transphobia affect people’s lives.

Kyrgyzstan is a former Soviet republic of more than five million people. Although the majority are Muslim, the country is relatively secular and homosexuality is legal.

However, gay people face considerable social hostility and discrimination in employment, housing and goods and services.