Sunday 27 January 2013

Gay and straight Armenians join massive marriage equality rally in Paris

Great to see visible Armenian presence during massive pro- marriage equality rally in Paris today. Both gay and straight Armenians, as well as Armenian families joined the rally with posters and interviews to express their support for marriage equality bill that will soon be discussed in the French parliament.

The largest French public TV channel "20h" information show interviewed the participants of the rally, and there was an Armenian family Catheriene and Serge Bagdadian with 2 lesbians daughters. The dad said that he wants this law to become real and also the right for lesbian women to have the possibility of artificial insemination so that he can become a granddad.

[You may watch the brief interview from around 11:30 on


Monday 21 January 2013

Today in history: Barack Obama highlights gay rights in an inaugural address

Obama made history today as the first President of the United States to highlight gay rights in an inaugural address:

"Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well."

Barack Obama, 21 January 2013 (*source)

Respects, Mr. President !!

Friday 11 January 2013

#funnysad : “No Cross-Dressing Comedians Please, We're Azerbaijani”

Even in the former Soviet Union cross-dressing for comical purposes, comedy sketches was considered pretty acceptable and widely used.

In independent Azerbaijan, like in other post-Soviet states, including Armenia, cross-dressing is still used by some of the most popular comedians, actors, performers.

RFE/RL report suggests, however, that at least for one Azeri MP & co this is no longer considered as ‘funny’ (regardless of the context) .
Dressing up as women is something of a stock in trade for Azerbaijani comedians Rafael and Cosqun. But the double act has run into trouble over an advertisement for a major mobile-phone operator in which the two men don blond and brunette wigs twinned with white and black dresses. The advertisement for Azercell appeared on billboards across Baku and on television. [...] But not everyone was amused. Parliament member Fazil Mustafa sharply criticized the actors' cross-dressing, labeling it as contradictory to the Azerbaijani mentality, and last month called on the Baku City Executive Office to take down the billboards.
*picture via RFE/RL

If I understood right from this Wikipedia article (AZ), he is a member of parliamentary human rights committee (! - not that I have any illusion re what ‘human rights’ committee in Azeri parliament could possibly represent) and member of the Azerbaijani delegation to PACE. He is also a member of the “Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe” (no comment, indeed). 

I suppose, as long as cross-dressing appeared as part of parody or comedy sketch shows, it was considered for him & co as something of an ‘entertainment only’, 'safe', something to laugh-off. But seeing this on billboards, up-your-face, or as part of ads entering into daily life (routine!) signalled some kind of ‘threat to masculinity’ and apparently 'national mentality'.

I like the mobile phone company response: “The company has investigated and established that there are no laws that would forbid male actors in women's clothing from promoting a company. The 'Azercell' advertisement contained no embarrassing elements and nothing that would cause psychological stress or spoil people's moral atmosphere."

Truly, a comedy. #funnysad

The ads were since halted and billboards taken down, reports RFE/RL.

*Thanks to O.K. for the link.

Tuesday 8 January 2013

Rainbow street crossing and logo on police car, West Hollywood, LA

I knew that West Hollywood is pretty much a gay village. Still, was pleasantly surprised spotting these sights ;))

*Los Angeles County sheriff’s car with rainbow logo (official logo of the City of West Hollywood, LA).

*Rainbow street crossing (crosswalk). 

Sunday 6 January 2013

Prince Harry and the artwork of Manbar in London

Manbar was recently launched in place of former CXR on 79 Charing Cross Road, Soho, London.

The artwork inside the venue, with wall murals reminiscent of underground gay films and magazines in past, creates a sexy retro vibe.

Not to mention the now famous mural of Prince Harry (see below) that became local and tourist attraction of itself, and in fact the main reason why I paid the visit to the bar. I will come back again, for sure.