April 8, 2009

86 percents would not tolerate

Most Armenians do not accept to have homosexual neighbors.
According to the Women’s Resource Center when the question ‘what would you do if your neighbor is homosexual?”was asked, 86% of the respondents answered that , they would not tolerate it. Anush Poghosian, the Centers for sexual and reproductive health issues states that a few years ago the intolerance towards homosexuality was 100%.
She continues to say: “It is normal that many of us have stereotypes. But can’t they change by reading, studying, and observing? It is encouraging that a small percentage of the population has become aware of people having the right to be as they are.”
The director of PINK Information Center, Mamikon Hovsapyan says lately, a great number of people asked him about homosexuality. According to him, the interest grew since December, when Armenia joined the United Nations statement for the protection of homosexuals. Hovsepyan states: “The basic confusion when discussing homosexuals is the belief that they are prostitutes wearing women's clothing and spreading sexually transmitted infections.” Hovsepyan wants to convince that on the exterior most homosexuals do not differ from other people. As for sexually transmitted infections, they are also spread by people who have non-homosexual orientation.
The coordinator of organization, Lilit Khorenyan believes that even the high officials of this country have erroneous ideas. When asked to give their views about homosexuality they respond by saying "It's a sickness. Go to Holland, it's the newest fashion there. We have entered the European Union and the newspapers are using homophobic phrases".
Mamikon Hovsepyan declares although there seems to be no apparent problems in Armenia, legal or otherwise, in regards to homosexuals, abuse and violence are current happenings especially during their military service. He also points out that is equally hurtful when the rights of individuals are invaded when their personal information, such as their names and photos, is made public, an event that occurred recently when a local paper printed an article about Armenian lesbians causing much commotion.

source: A1+

April 2, 2009

Did you watch “Harvey Milk”?

Yesterday I came to Gyumri for 3 days to conduct a training session in the frames of “Global Health Week of Action”. At night I was watching TV and I was so happy that many channels were showing comedy, the best choice for the 1st of April. Suddenly I noticed that “Tsayg” local TV is showing “Harvey Milk”, they also repeated the movie in the afternoon of April 2, I want to remind that this is the channel that in December, 2007 invited me to their live talk show about sexual minorities.

It was my dream to watch this movie, to see the person who struggled for freedom, tolerance and equal rights.

Harvey was a person who was living for his community and never giving up, protecting the rights of people who are the victims of discrimination and intolerance.

We all have to learn from him if we want peace and freedom.

We have to be together live Harvey’s friends were with him.

We should not give up if we want to live with normal life.

I learn a lot from Harvey Milk, even all the phrases that he said are in my mind.

Hope one day I can be so strong like him and I can do at least part of his work. I wish one day to stand on the top of the mountain with you and feel the wind of freedom.

Dear friends, I am always ready to help you as much as I can. We have to be a big team.

I can’t have my private life till my friends are not free...


Mamikon Hovsepyan

April 1, 2009

MetastaZ received theatrical awards in Armenia

Nune Khechumyan received "Best young director" award for a gay-themed play MetastaZ at the main Armenian annual theatre award ceremony "Artavazd 2009" on 27 March in Yerevan.
Also, actor Temur Atchinyan (State Dramatic Theatre named after H. Abelyan of Vanadzor) was named "Best young actor" at the award ceremony. He was among a group of talented actors involved in MetastaZ.


For more info about MetastaZ and video clips from the performance, see:
Metastaz: "We are Armenians, not homos..."
MetastaZ - gay related theatre play in Vanadzor, Armenia