I am very angered and very saddened. News on suicide committed by young gay Armenian guy in LA (Los Angeles, US) after being forced into marriage proves once more that Armenian society - whether in Armenia or Diaspora - with its ‘traditional values’, intolerance and homophobia is responsible for his death.
Thanks to his friend, we learned about this story. How many similar cases pass hidden?!
I ask Armenian bloggers, media representatives, anyone who has links with local (both in Armenia and Diaspora) and international media to disseminate this story as widely as possible. Time to speak up. Enough is enough! We should prevent similar tragedies from happening in future.
I tried to summarise what is known so far about this guy based on PINK Armenia press release and comments in Yesoudo: LGBT discussion group.
A few days ago a young gay Armenian in LA committed suicide... He was 22 years old. The stress of being gay was too hard for him to handle. He was forced to get married with an Armenian girl to cover up his sexuality... He came out to his family and they forced him to marry a girl to keep up appearances... and sadly 3 months into the marriage . . . he couldn’t take it anymore... he was under a lot of stress from his family and the general stress that the Armenian community brings to the table about homosexuality...
Here is what his friend has to say:
[He was] an amazing friend of mine… we loved him dearly... he was young, smart and handsome... god I’m going to miss him...
REST IN PEACE MY GOOD FRIEND WE WILL MISS YOU.
What is wrong with Armenians how can we keep letting this happen! This isn’t right, this isn’t fair! The sad part is no one mentions that he did it because he was gay! He even wrote it in his suicide note and no one mentions it! How many Armenians are we going to lose like this!
Below are few comments expressed so far in response to this news:
“As for doing something once again it comes down to his family issues. It’s not so simple coming out and saying btw you pushed your gay son to that point! How do you put it "fact that you have a gay dead son is your fault"
“It`s a tragedy what`s happened but it`ll be even worse if the truth stays hidden. In closed minded communities such as the Armenian one (sadly) things don’t just change like that, usually something big, something drastic and unfortunately something tragic has to happen for people to start reconsidering their views and mentality. So now u have this opportunity to at least use this poor guys tragedy to make something good come out of it and if I just stay silent and let it go, that`ll be even more tragic.
I`m sure that any mom, even an Armenian mom will rather have a gay son alive than a dead one. So if u can get it touch with some news papers or some media and tell the truth, that`ll maybe prevent tragedies like this from happening again in future. I`m sure if an Armenian mom that has a son read the real sorry, hear the real story she`ll think twice before driver her son to suicide. So u should gather his friends and write a huge article about him, about the truth and if u guys are afraid about your own families finding out about you, you can do it anonymously. U can ask the newspaper to do it anonymously, but u shouldn`t let this go by. Just give his family some time 2 morn and then do something, either something on TV news, in news papers or even a video of him with his pics with the real story and put it on Youtube in memory of him. But do something!”
“Well, this is a story of a typical Armenian gay, which is of course very sad, one of the ways is the solidarity among gays, especially Armenians, we need to support each other, because the only way to fight against the violence, somebody may call it traditions/customs, is to be strong, to make your character stronger, and WE ALL have to do that, to support each other, even if it may cost something to us. The fact of suicide of that gay is a big shame for his parents and at the same [time] big loss and pain for all of us. Rest him in peace...”
“It is depressing indeed. I would not thinking of who is to blame in the whole story. I dare say not even the family of the young gay man, who has chosen this solution out of the situation. They are victims of their society as well this way or another. What we could do is to voice out the case and perhaps try to forward the message to mass media both in Armenia and abroad. Showing devil a mirror could be a best way to fight it.”
“Parents like this are just idiots and they have no right to show up themselves in public anymore unless they start being activists in gay parental associations to buy themselves out! some Armenians even in America live in Stone age. What you can do? LA gays should be more visible and more activist!”