[...] There's some really interesting things happening in Yerevan in terms of gay and lesbian culture, issues, and rights. Your blog has been a HUGE help for me in understanding things. I am in Yerevan for the first time and I felt totally lost, but your thoughts give me a pretty good navigation of things.
Also, in terms of the "there are no gays in Yerevan" discourse, I had a really interesting experience at a cafe one morning. I have tattoos all over my body and the waiter came up to me and started to ask me about them. I said that I try to hide them as much as I can (which is hard because it's so hot here!) and he said that people here have them too but they hide them. They hide a lot of things. Then he leaned in really close and said "There's a lot of gays in Armenia but they keep it secret." I have been stuck on the affect of this moment for a couple of weeks now. I keep thinking about it. Why did he tell me this? Did he read me as queer and so decided I was a safe person to talk to about it? Was it his way of coming out to me? Was he just picking up on my sexuality and wanted to let me know that there were people like me here? I'm still rather confused. I talked to my father about it, who lived in Yerevan years ago, and he says that if I look different, my tattoos, piercings, etc., then I most likely also gay. But I don't buy into that.
I don't know what it was about that moment but I cannot get past it. Any thoughts? [...]