Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Being Gay and Armenian: The Stigma (IANYAN)

This is the first in a series of articles to appear on IANYAN re what it means to be gay and Armenian.

Well done, Liana. The author and the IANYAN should serve an example for others in Armenian media, online and offline.

Selected quotes:

"This wasn’t the first time Armenian attitudes towards homosexuality had clashed. During the yearly Armenian fund raising telethon, GALAS presented a check to organizers and in turn, received hate messages in the form of voice mails and emails, with one alleging that they take Ararat off the GALAS logo."

"Although Armenian attitudes towards homosexuality have softened in recent years (Armenia signed a United Nations declaration in 2008 condemning discrimination and prejudice based on sexual orientation and gender identity) lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Armenians still face discrimination, which sometimes resorts to abuse and violence."

“Homophobia is rampant and deeply entrenched in our culture both in the Diaspora and also in Armenia - and there is not enough attention paid to the development of greater tolerance in Armenian society,” said Jirair Ratevosian, who works on domestic and global AIDS-related policy in Washington D.C. as deputy director of policy at amFAR, the Foundation for Aids Research.

*read the article in full here.

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