Thursday, 29 October 2009

Yerevan diaries: Yere1 comedy sketch show on Armenia TV - Homophobic or Not?

Yere1 is a relatively new comedy sketch show on Armenia TV. I first heard and then watched couple of series of Yere1 when in Yerevan in September.

Basically, it’s an Armenian version of highly popular Russian TV show Nasha Russia.

One of the central story-lines there is gay related. Other story-lines from time to time cross that topic too.

However, while Russian main gay character is chosen and presented as one contrary to cliches - overly masculine, with rough habits and taste (similar to what one may consider as a cliche straight man), in Armenian version it’s a cliche - overly feminine - gay man. Therefore, Russian version is frequently funny and tackles and laughed at existing gay or masculine stereotypes pretty OK, while Armenian one is rarely funny and may contribute to existing prejudices.

There are, however, few funny moments in Armenian version too which expose silliness of macho prejudices in our everyday life. What an average Armenian TV viewer will make out of this, is anyone's guess. So far I've heard very opposite opinions re Yere1: from homophobic to gay friendly, from totally stupid to pretty funny. Perhaps, there is a bit of everything there. My main reservation, however, remains the use of unacceptable Armenian equivalent to describe a gay man: “hamaseramol”.


Anonymous said...


ArmComedy said...

So what's the correct term? I honestly don't no other Armenian words besides hamaseramol

artmika said...

The problem with "hamaseramol" is in "-mol" ending, which in Armenian implies sickness or pathology. I would encourage you to start using instead "miaserakan" or "nuynaserakan" which are currently the only acceptable Armenian versions to refer to gays, along with more international "gay", of course.

artmika said...

P.S. I recommend reading Aravot's and publication on sexual orientation and correct use of Armenian terminology:

Սեռական կողմնորոշվածություն

Սեռական կողմնորոշվածության տեսակները