Friday, 14 December 2007

PINK ARMENIA - new LGBT related NGO registered in Armenia

I am happy to share with you VERY GOOD NEWS, indeed. New LGBT related NGO has just been registered in Armenia. Welcome, Pink Armenia! We will certainly hear more of them in new year.

Below is a formal announcement by organisers.

Pink - (Public Information and Need of Knowledge)

"Our main mission is STIs prevention (special attention to HIV) among LGBT community. Recently, the amount of HIV infected people has risen and it is uprising every year among general population and LGBT people, to promote respect for LGBT rights in Armenian society and even in LGBT community in Armenia, because it is fact that lots of LGBT individuals in Armenia don't know their rights. A lot of people think themselves to be sick; it means they still think homosexuality to be illness, disease. We want to give information about what the situation is, help to understand and solve many questions they haven't found answers for yet.

The mission of the organisation.
o Raising awareness in society about facts and background of sexuality, STIs, HIV/AIDS, LGBT.
o Searching for role models, create an info centre, self help groups and build a ground for advocating gay rights.
o Developing projects and undertaking studies or research in various fields that are of particular concern to lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people

We have agreements with several organizations in different regions of Armenia to work together and create a "Pink corner" in their offices, which will be a part of our organization.

I would like to mention about so called "straight" LGBT individuals. The term "straight" needs definition. The present reality makes a lot of people to cover themselves as straights. It is widely spread in Armenia. To reach these kinds of people is very difficult because they are afraid to be uncovered. We want people to visit our organization, so they will feel very comfortable and secure realizing that we don't want to discover who they are, but to give information about sexual health, hygiene, sexuality even he is not LGBT individual, for that purpose we need to take into consideration the way LGBT "straight" individuals are thinking, because our main purpose is to reach to the wide LGBT community which members are mostly covered under "straight" term. There is an organization for LGBT community in Armenia, but so called "straight" LGBT individuals will never attend that kind of organization realizing that it is openly organization for LGBT and even they will do a harm for that kind of organization.

On the other hand we want to promote universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the elimination of all kinds of discrimination. If there is a LGBT organization in Armenia so it doesn't do its job properly to our mind, because nobody is talking about the real situation of LGBT in Armenia in any kind of forms. There are facts about LGBT individuals who have been tortured by their own parents, there is nothing about what the situation is in army (it is fact lots of guys have sex in army using no condoms and how they behave towards gay men in army who are being raped and even they can be killed and nobody will know about it). Nobody talks about LGBT people who are famous all over the world.

Main present and past activities, programs and successes.
o Have been providing World AIDS Day events at gay friendly club since 2004
o Cooperating with local NGOs
o Leaflets and booklets on HIV/AIDS, STIs, are donated by MSF Greece to have them available for distribution.
o Trainings in 2007 in Gyumri (Shirak region), Dilijan (Tavush region), Vanadzor (Lori region) and Yerevan

For the conclusion I would like to add that all what was presented above is just a drop in ocean. A lot of problems should be spoken about.
And even if we are able to give right information about STIs, LGBT community, sexual health, hygiene to a very few people, it will mean that we have achieved and done something for our society. We realize that we can not manage to do a lot, but to our mind the first step of doing something is to speak about it and do something towards it, because as Albert Einstein said:" The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing". We don't want to be participants of evil.
For all these we highly aspect your assistance and support.

Visit our non-official web page

Group discussion

Best regards,

M.H. and G.T."

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