Monday 29 November 2010

On 1 December 2010, Kim Kardashian WILL DIE

No, the reality vixen isn't actually dead, but Kim Kardashian and several other stars are quitting Twitter and Facebook until $1 million is raised for the charity Keep a Child Alive, which supports AIDS-stricken children around the world.

The organization released a group of ads displaying Kardashian and other celebrities in a coffin, claiming their "digital life" could be restored only when they hit the target of $ 1 million.

Lady Gaga, Serena Williams, and several other stars will join the foundation's ambassador Alicia Keys in supporting the effort in light of World AIDS Day. Supporters can visit or text "Kim" or other stars' names to 90999 to buy their digital lives back.


Keep a Child Alive

Buy Life

Sunday 28 November 2010

Armenian media semiar/workshop on LGBT rights and reporting 12-14 November 2010, Tsaghkadzor, Armenia

I will start from the end. Lara Aharonian, prominent human rights activist based in Yerevan, summed it up perfectly on her blog post: the atmosphere, the event, the outcome. This link - LGBT and journalists: a journey through tolerance and mafia game! - was among the most re-tweeted under the Twitter hashtag #armLGBT.

When I posted the link to her blog post on Twitter, @LGBTAsylumNews re-tweeted it by commenting: “fantastic report on grassroots LGBT work with media in Armenia by @Lara_Aha”
RT @unzippedblog fantastic report on grassroots LGBT work with media in Armenia by @Lara_Aha #armLGBT
In a very recent past, I did criticise, at times pretty harsh, the British Council in Armenia for their failures in dealing with the LGBT related issues and effective (even if not intended) promotion of homophobic media outlets. Praise where praise is due. To the organiser - British Council Armenia, and participants, of course.

This type of workshops are exactly the type of initiatives that must be supported by bodies like the British Council if they want to promote and support changes for better in Armenia, and for real. While the immediate outcomes of this media workshop are indeed positive, its long-term success will depend on continuity of the process. Further media monitoring will give an idea whether this seminar made an impact (at least) on the work of those who participated.

Important update: Radio Van removed their joint highly praised #armLGBT media workshop article prepared by Arman from the radio station and Mamikon from PINK Armenia. I have to say, I am not surprised. I am (always!) ready to acknowledge positive changes, regardless of past history. But... Removal of this article means one thing to me. This particular radio station initially posted it to show off only. They didn't mean it. It was perhaps too honest for their 'standards'. You may still read the article (both parts) in full on Mamikon’s personal blog:

Ես կապ չունեմ նրանց հետ
Толерантность-шо це та ке?
And below are few more links prepared by participants following the media workshop.


Երկխոսությունը ծնում է հանդուրժողականություն
Խղճուկ ես դառնում, եթե պետությունը կողքիդ չի
Hetq Online:
Նա ընտրել է մարդկային հարաբերություններից ամենաբարդը
Lilit and Mary: Two Women Living Together in Armenia
Jenka’s blog
Ապրել այնպես, որ......
Լուսանկարչուհին իրեն է պատկերել
Photostory by Svetlana Antonyan ('Ocean') on A1+: artist, gay, society...

Here are how the events were unfolded at the media workshop, as reported on Twitter by participants @Lara_Aha, @ditord and @mmkarmenia (with few additional tweets and comments [] by myself @unzippedblog).

Day 1: 12 November 2010

Media workshop in Tsakhadzor, #Armenia to bring together journalists and LGBT activists for team reporting projects #armLGBT

in Tsaghkatsor, Seminar on #LGBT rights and media in #Armenia 12-14 November, will be moderating discussion on #tolerance #ArmLGBT

Follow @Lara_Aha @ditord @mmkarmenia for updates on #Armenia media seminar/workshop in Tsaghkadzor on #LGBT rights and reporting #armLGBT

#LGBT members and media people get to know each other, the ambiance a little tense but people r starting to open up #armLGBT #Armenia

@unzippedblog [present at media seminar are] journalists from A1+, hetq, Aravot, radio Van, Hraparak, Tert, IWPR #armLGBT

[also present at the seminar are] observers from #british Embassy, British council #armLGBT #armenia

@ditord is facilitating the introductions #armLGBT #armenia

the group is divided in 2: #LGBT and media. they will prepare a list of complaints against each other #armLGBT #armenia

the #LGBT community representatives expressed their concerns regarding media reporting and same the media group #armLGBT now will present

@ditord presenting the concerns and expectations of the media regarding the #LGBT community #armLGBT

radio van issue has been raised in the media group #armLGBT #armenia

What is the #LGBT community is expecting from the Armenian media? #armLGBT

media says: #LGBT community has to develop a better media strategy #armLGBT

media wants to know the needs of the #LGBT community in #Armenia #armLGBT

#LGBT community is presenting their concerns: first, use of language in the media, hamaseramol for example #armLGBT

second problem is the silence towards #LGBT issues in #Armenia media #armLGBT

3rd: lack of real investigation and references in articles related to #LGBT issues #armLGBT

misinformation distributed through media on #LGBT issues #armLGBT

another important concern: the fine line between hate speech and freedom of expression #LGBT #armLGBT #armenia

both sides presented, now the discussion starts between #LGBT and media #armLGBT #armenia

#LGBT representative is suggesting to present the right terminology regarding sexual orientation for use in media #armLGBT #Armenia

it's getting really hot in this conference room, heated debate #armLGBT #armenia

@Lara_Aha You should all go for drinks afterwards :) #armLGBT

Changes are possible #armLGBT

@unzippedblog actually we will play mafia :) afterwards #armLGBT

@ditord is presenting "tolerance in media" #armLGBT #armenia

it seems that there is a good start for communication between #LGBT and media groups #armLGBT #armenia

62.5% of ethnic minority groups media coverage in #southcaucasus 2004-2006 #armLGBT

0.4% of sexual minority group media coverage in #southcaucasus, 2004-2006 #armLGBT #LGBT #armenia

ALM is the most tolerant towards ethnic minorities apparently in Armenian TV and Aravot among the newspapers #armLGBT #armenia

sexual minorities are the most active in using #socialmedia in #armenia for their cause #armLGBT #LGBT

[these are questionable projections] according to kinsey method, in #Armenia 4% of male pop. is gay and 2% of female population - aprox. 65 000 men and 18 000 women #armLGBT

Vahan Ishkhanyan talking about Charents' gay poems published in inqnaqir and the issue around it #armLGBT #armenia

Vahan Ishkhanyan is presenting Chatents's homoerotic poems #armLGBT

end of day one, seminar media and #LGBT - interesting discussions /insights #armLGBT #armenia

Day 2: 13 November 2010

day 2: preparing articles with media representatives #armLGBT

Day 2: media training seminar on #LGBT issues. Today participants are paired to write articles on the issue #armLGBT #armenia

me and Arman from radio Van will prepare an article together, hope it will not be the most boring in the group #armLGBT

What we did for journalists, don't know yet. What they changed in me, forced to write an article:) #armLGBT

the team will be back soon to present their story drafts, can't wait. Some of them even went out in the city to do an opinion poll #armLGBT

watching a documentary filmed by one of the participant journalists in 2004 but refused for hatuk goti [TV programme], entitled "dziadzzni dak" #armLGBT

now journalists are asking honest questions about #LGBT isues, to understand more and getting answers from the #LGBT reps. #armLGBT #armenia

Tomorrow morning you can read Arman's article on radio Van's blog, for me it is perfect #armLGBT

some of the group working on the articles #armLGBT

first article MAmikon and Arman team #armLGBT #armenia

oops, we were even faster, the article is ready: Mamikon from @pinkarmenia and Arman from radio Van. Enjoy it #armLGBT

like it very much RT @pinkarmenia: the result of @mmkarmenia and Arman team work #armLGBT

Arman and Mamikon team working #armLGBT

another post created by Janna from radio Van and Zara from WFCE #armLGBT

Day 3: 14 November 2010

Day 3. Presention of team works. Actually 2 teams were faster and their articles were ready yesterday #armLGBT

Day 3: Media seminar on #LGBT issues in #Armenia: presentation of team-work articles #armLGBT

Arman from Radio Van is presenting his article and interpreting the comments #armLGBT

Mamik and Arman had a very constructive approach writing this article and reflected on the real problems in society on #tolerance #armLGBT

Presentation of results of joint work at #armLGBT first presentation by RadioVan

172 people already read Arman's and Mamikon's post since yesterday night which shows the interest in this topic #armLGBT

"aper karogha sagh tertere gren vor menq estegh eyinq kaluboyneri het" ,- some men hanging around the hotel's swimming pool #armLGBT

@RadioVAN is asking here Why are we more tolerant towards unfairness, but not to sexual minorities #armLGBT

comment on @mmkarmenia & @RadioVAN post its easier to be against #armLGBT community than corrupt government officials

2nd article JEnya and Zara on coming out - artagalusd #armLGBT

Zhenka / Zara's article is long, boring, too many figures, no specific issue is raised, but its a great start #armLGBT

I guess #armLGBT community do not have that much problems with journalists but each of them has problems in their groups

Gohar Hakobian of Aravot Daily is presenting results of 'vox pop' on the streets of Tsakhadzor. Results are funny! #armLGBT

In response to question what they think of #armLGBT, someone started complaining from lack of jobs and social problems #lol

Gohar Hakobian says Tsakhadzor ppl tolerant, because its a tourist place and they are used to seeing diverse groups #armLGBT

Gohar from Aravot and Karen from WFCE went out on the streets of Tsaxkatsor and did an opinion poll on #LGBT issues #armLGBT

can't really comment on Gohar Hakobian's article draft for Aravot Daily before it's published, interesting stuff though #armLGBT

Susan Simonian is presenting a feature article on gender change at #armLGBT workshop in tsakhadzor

Susan Simonian's feature paints a touching picture of #armLGBT minority's struggle to survive in a hostile environment. Depressing!

Susan Simonian's feature for #armLGBT woskshop has a success story. Yey! Love it!

Gayane from A1+ presented amazing video report about Ocean and her artwork #armLGBT

Lusine's real story presenting Vahe from Hetq. Another reality, another emotions and this is all about our lovely Lusine #armLGBT

Vahe's story prepared for #armLGBT workshop is rather controversial. Has lot's of good sides, but somehting bother's me about it

from mainstream journalism perspective, knowing potential negative feedback, I wouldn't publish Vahe's story as it is #armLGBT

Finalizing the seminar. Thanks to British Council for great initiative #armLGBT

Thanks @Lara_Aha @mmkarmenia @ditord for excellent tweet-reporting from #armLGBT media seminar. Will sum up your tweets into a blog post.

seminar is officially over, it was an amazing experience and exceeded my expectations! i will be back with lots of energy and hope #armLGBT

@Lara_Aha WOW. Well done, guys. I like what I am reading :) #armLGBT

Sunday 21 November 2010

Azerbaijan joins totalitarian ‘club’ of homophobic countries by voting to remove sexual orientation from the UN resolution condemning executions based on discriminatory grounds

Azerbaijan became the only country in the South Caucasus to support such move, proposed by African Group at the UN and supported mainly by a bunch of totalitarian countries in Africa, Middle East and Asia. Disappointingly, Russia joined that ‘club’ too.

I am glad to see that Armenia and Georgia joined instead the civilised world in opposing such removal.

Below is a statement by International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC)

17 November 2010

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and ARC International are deeply disappointed with yesterday’s vote in the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly to remove a reference to sexual orientation from a resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. The resolution urges States to protect the right to life of all people, including by calling on states to investigate killings based on discriminatory grounds. For the past 10 years, the resolution has included sexual orientation in the list of discriminatory grounds on which killings are often based.

The removed reference was originally contained in a non-exhaustive list in the resolution highlighting the many groups of people that are particularly targeted by killings - including persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, persons acting as human rights defenders (such as lawyers, journalists or demonstrators) as well as street children and members of indigenous communities. Mentioning sexual orientation as a basis on which people are targeted for killing highlights a situation in which particular vigilance is required in order for all people to be afforded equal protection.

The amendment removing the reference to sexual orientation was sponsored by Benin on behalf of the African Group in the UN General Assembly and was adopted with 79 votes in favor, 70 against, 17 abstentions and 26 absent.

“This vote is a dangerous and disturbing development,” said Cary Alan Johnson, Executive Director of IGLHRC. “It essentially removes the important recognition of the particular vulnerability faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people - a recognition that is crucial at a time when 76 countries around the world criminalize homosexuality, five consider it a capital crime, and countries like Uganda are considering adding the death penalty to their laws criminalizing homosexuality.”

This decision in the General Assembly flies in the face of the overwhelming evidence that people are routinely killed around the world because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation, and renders these killings invisible or unimportant. The Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions has highlighted documented cases of extrajudicial killings on the grounds of sexual orientation including individuals facing the death penalty for consensual same-sex conduct; individuals tortured to death by State actors because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation; paramilitary groups killing individuals because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation as part of “social cleansing” campaigns; individuals murdered by police officers with impunity because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation; and States failing to investigate hate crimes and killings of persons because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation.

"It is a matter of great shame that the responsible Committee of the United Nations General Assembly failed in its responsibility to explicitly condemn well-documented killings based on sexual orientation," said John Fisher, Co-Director of ARC international. "The credibility of the United Nations requires protection of all persons from violations of their fundamental human rights, including on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. We thank those States which supported the inclusion of sexual orientation in the text, and will redouble our collective efforts to ensure that Member States of the United Nations maintain the standards they have sworn to uphold."

The amendment runs counter to other positive developments in UN and regional human rights systems where there is increased recognition of the need for protection from discrimination regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. At a September 2010 panel held in conjunction with a session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon unequivocally recognized “the particular vulnerability of individuals who face criminal sanctions, including imprisonment and in some cases the death penalty, on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Sixty-eight countries have also signed a joint statement in the UN General Assembly on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity which calls for an end to “human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity … in particular the use of the death penalty on this ground [and] extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.”

IGLHRC and ARC International urge all States, regardless of their vote on this amendment, to sign the UNGA joint statement affirming support of the human rights of all people, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity and to continue in efforts to decriminalize same-sex conduct and to end other discrimination, including violence, on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The votes to amend the resolution were as follows:

In favor of the amendment to remove sexual orientation from the resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (79):

Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Botswana, Brunei Dar-Sala, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, China, Comoros, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Opposed to the amendment to remove sexual orientation from the resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (70):

Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bhutan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Micronesia (FS), Monaco, Montenegro, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela

Abstain (17):

Antigua-Barbuda, Barbados, Belarus, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Colombia, Fiji, Mauritius, Mongolia, Papau New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Absent (26):

Albania, Bolivia, Central African Republic, Chad, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Marshall Island, Mauritania, Nauru, Nicaragua, Palau, Sao Tome Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Togo, Tonga, Turkey, Turkmenistan

Tuesday 16 November 2010

Photostory by Svetlana Antonyan ('Ocean') on A1+: artist, gay, society...

Parajanov: imprisonment and prison art, British Film Institute, London

Pictures from an intimate exhibit at the British Film Institute, part of Parajanovian Festival in London, March 2010 (from my archives). They detail his imprisonment and prison art.

Shprot and Vayach: Quotes of the Day

[...] She followed her song, in which she sings about listening to your heart and not letting fear stop you from your dreams, with speaking openly about issues considered taboo to a in interviews.

“I would talk about sex and homosexuality, about issues that weren’t being openly discussed in Armenia,” she says. “I have a lot of gay friends and I understand them. Everyone decides for themselves who to live with and who to sleep with, what business is it of ours to go and interfere with their lives?” [...]

*Shprot: “Armenia Is Too Small For Me”. Extract of the interview by Liana Aghajanian for Ararat magazine

[...] Ես ընկալում, ընդունում ու առաջին հերթին հանդուրժում եմ իմ բարեկամներին, չնայած հանդուրժելը «տոլերանտ» բառի համար ամենահարմար համարժեքը չի հայերենում, ցավոք, այն մի քանի բառի իմաստային համադրություն է, բայց եթե էդպես է լեզուն ասում, ուրեմն ասենք, բայց հասկանանք այլ բան՝ ավելի բարուն ու սիրուն մոտիկ: Որովհետև, եթե կա հասարակության մեջ համամարդկային սիրո տոկոս, երբ կարևոր չի չաղ է, թե նիհար, շեկ է, թե սևահեր, տղամարդ է, թե կին, մեզ համար ավանդական հետերոսեքսուալ է, թե գեյ, այլ կարևոր է՝ ինչպիսի՞ մարդու տեսակ է նա, և որքանո՞վ է նա համապատասխանում քո մարդկային արժեքային համակարգին նրա հետ բարեկամություն անելու համար, կամ մինիմում՝ հանդուրժելու, եթե կարող ես հասկանալ, որ այլ է՝ այլախոհ է, այլազգի է, այլակրոն է, այլառասսա, այլասեռական է նրա կողմնորոշվածությունը քոնից: Էդ դեպքում միայն մենք կարող ենք ասել, որ քաղաքակիրթ ժողովուրդ ենք, որ արժանի ենք տեղ գրավել առաջադեմ երկրների շարքում, ու զգալ նրանց հետ մեզ հավասար, եթե ոչ տնտեսապես, ապա առայժմ գոնե գաղափարապես: Իսկ ամեն ինչ սկսվում է գաղափարական խոհանոցում՝ ուղեղում:

*Extract from the article by Lusine Vayachyan for the Armenian Version: Տրասսի տրանսները, կավատներն ու ռեկետը (AM)

Thursday 11 November 2010

Riot, nudity... a very Armenian day in London gallery by artist Karen Grigoryan

It was a very strange, weird day in London. For the first time in decades, students riot erupted, clashes with police, surreal scenes you are more likely to see in Paris or Athens, but not in a more restrained London.

What this had to do with the exhibition of Armenian artist Karen Grigoryan in London, you may wonder? Well, there were some direct and indirect connections.

The opening of the exhibition coincided with the students riot, and the artist JUST managed to make it to his own exhibition, getting stuck in a travel chaos. Armenian fate :)

The exhibition - that contained some ‘risky’ images - was accompanied by Karen’s music, pomegranate wine and abundance of Armenian dry fruits and sweets.

It was an intimate affair, with a touch of class.

All exhibits were up for sale with the proceeds to go to the charity supported by the artist to buy Christmas presents for children in Gavar orphanage (Armenia).

P.S. Thanks to Karen for his present: CD album Emotions, a compilation of selected songs by songwriter-artist. I am listening to it while writing this post. social network for gay Armenian men to close down

It was launched in/around February 2009 to replace AGLA France popular online “meeting place” for LGBT Armenians after the French Armenian LGBT group ceased to exist.

It was presented as a “private social network for gay Armenian men and their friends. Though it's private, everyone can sign up and ask for membership.”

At the time of writing, has 1166 members, 14 groups, 4 featured interviews, 38 blog posts by members, 76 forum discussions, 1034 pictures and 139 videos uploaded.

Below is a message from the admin of

While I would not say it turned into a "dead network", I would agree that it failed to become a popular "meeting place", as gay Armenian men use other means to get/be in touch.
*** : no farewell speech

A message to all members of


We're considering to close network on Ning. The reasons are many:

- lack of time (first of all)

- lack of budget

and the most and not the least is lack of enthusiasm from members.

Keeping a dead network is useless. However the fan page at Facebook will replace this network since the majority of you have an account there and use other social networks more frequently than this one.



to all of you and we don't say farewell just good-bye! See you later on Facebook ;)

Sunday 7 November 2010

My Yerevan. The way I see and like it. Or... to Yerevan with love

Must-must read. Absofu**inglutely awesome post by Adrineh. I can 100% associate myself to what she wrote about MY Yerevan too.

Essential reading.

Selected extracts below. Full post: Ode to Yerevan Nights

I had forgotten. I had forgotten how this city changes at night. How the expression “as different as night and day” takes on new meaning in the Armenian capital. And I have missed it. Oh, how I have missed you, dear Yerevan night.

Walking the streets of this city at night, you see the queers, the foreigners, the misfits. If you never went out at night, you would think that Yerevan is “proper” Armenian girls, young boys laughing in groups, schoolchildren, and older women buying produce, while [...] men in groups in dark-colored clothing talking politics in the park. [...]

But it is a night — even better, late at night —, when the “proper” Armenian girls have gone home (after all, they’re not allowed to stay out past midnight), when the young men with their flashy cars have possibly retired for the evening, and when families are fast asleep, that Yerevan wakes up and shows you the possibilities of what this city can be.

I hear more languages at night than I do during the day. I see people I didn’t know live here, doing things I didn’t know people in Yerevan do. I see all manners of people being accepted because the night is different: it allows for certain freedoms (most likely aided by certain amounts of alcohol) that would simply be frowned upon during the day.

Of course, it’s not all rose-coloured glasses: the stereotypes and the conservative opinions are still there, but I suppose they’re not felt as much, or perhaps they simply lose their potency at night. [...]

This might sound odd, but Yerevan at night reminded me I’m queer. And that I love my queer brothers and sisters. In the past couple of nights, I met many more new misfits and came to the following revelation:

The ratio of queers to straights in Yerevan is probably higher than in Toronto, and maybe even London and New York.

You might find this hard to believe, but trust me: just come to Yerevan. And go out at night. Yerevan is a small city compared to many other capital cities around the world, but it has an infinite amount of possibilities. [...]

Yerevan at night reminded me why I love this city and its people, and brought to mind this quote:

“With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.”

Friday 5 November 2010

Garik Martirosyan in drag

This unconventional image of popular Russia-based Armenian showman (Comedy Club) Garik Martirosyan was unveiled at the exhibition in Moscow by Russian artist Ekaterina Rozhdestvenskaya.

*picture - via MIGnews

Monday 1 November 2010

Gay Story - Armenia online project launched today

Great initiative. There is this relatively new online project Gay Story (in English). Today it launched its standalone Armenian version - Gay Story - Armenia.

I can only commend people behind this online project. Well done, guys !!

As they say: Share your stories. It helps.

The website and stories are in Armenian, and will be particularly relevant to LGBT people in Armenia and Diaspora, or anyone who knows Armenian. They are not fiction. They are real. Real life stories.

I encourage you to participate in this initiative and submit your stories.

These are the main topics that you may submit your stories about:

Am I Gay?
Coming Out
First time sex
Gay Love

First story - a very honest and well written - have already been posted by Mary. It touched me, and I felt very emotional.... ԴՈՒ ՄԵՆԱԿ ՉԵՍ… (‘You are not alone’)

Բարի Գալուստ Gay Story – Հայաստան


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ArmeniaNow about LGBT discrimination in Armenia, gay sex workers and pleshka

I have to say, gay-themed articles in Armenian online media became somehow repetitive and predictable. Even headings and accompanying pictures look the same.

The main interesting part from the ArmeniaNow report, which I have been hearing from other sources too, is the following (re gay sex workers):
Homosexuals, however, say that there is little progress. Under the pressure of NGOs, the Children’s Park has been lightened recently; some police officers are patrolling there every day, preventing attacks of different groups against homosexuals.

“Now when such group attacks are registered, the police interfere, defending us. Of course they [attackers] do not eventually face a punishment, but, at least, they understand that we are also people and we also have rights,” Petros says.