“Years ago I was watching a video where LGBTI people wanted to walk from Cascade to the Artists’ Union building. Then a group of people hindered that march, sang national songs and danced. At that time, I was very glad thinking how good it is for the Armenian boys to keep their nationality. Then I forgot about that video”, – yesterday told Knarik Tadevosyan, one of the speakers at the event entitled “Allies Talk” organized by LGBTI rights organization PINK Armenia.
The circumstances of life should turn the girl, who was happy to watch the video showing the prevention of LGBTI rights march, into LGBTI community ally in the future.
Now the girl does not remember the video made her rejoice at that time with happiness. One day one of Knarik’s closest friends had come out as homosexual.
“It was a big shock for me. From that state, I started laughing. I was laughing continuously without looking at him, then I turned and looked at his face and realized that my laughter was senseless: what he said was a reality. I do not know why but we did not talk about it until we got home… In the morning, when I was thinking about him again, I realized that when he was telling stories about some persons from his personal life, I had never seen a photo of any of them, and I had not ever heard their names. At that moment, a question arose – why is it so, if I am his closest friend? First, I felt like a traitor. Why am I a traitor? – Because I left him alone, I could not be so open for him to to tell me everything”, – told Knarik and added that at the same time she also realized that nothing has changed in her attitude toward his friend, that he stays the same person for her.
“Then I decided to rewatch the video, which made me rejoice me a lot. I was watching and watching and… That was a very sad video for me. Then I realized that the “Armenian boy”, “Armenian girl” and similar expressions highlighted in the video are nothing, have no value, that the most important is the person who, perhaps, is someone’s friend”, – told Knarik Tadevosyan.
At the event, other allies also talked about LGBTI people, communication with them and their problems.
“Man is created or lives to be happy”, – expressed her opinion Isabella Sargsyan, the representative of Eurasia Partnership Foundation. Moreover, according to Sargsyan, the main condition for happiness is being who you are.
“If you are afraid to be who you are, your happiness will be incomplete”, – says Isabella and mentions one more important precondition for happiness – being accepted.
“Whereas, these people are not even accepted by their closest ones”, – said Sargsyan referring to LGBTI people.
The latter expressed an opinion that today, states in most respect exist for ensuring human happiness.
“For what are all the ideologies? – the “-ism-s”, the “-ness-es”? “They are trying to show the state a way to make people happy”, – said Sargsyan ” highlighting the happiness in “-ness-es”.
“For example, for the sake of nationalism, a person and his/her happiness cannot be pushed into the second place”, – Izabella Sargsyan expressed her conviction.
Photographer and journalist Ani Gevorgyan expressed a wish for all the people to be equal in the eyes of everyone in the same way as every person is equal in front of the camera and in a photographer’s eyes.
Speaker Eva Tovmasyan underlined that the guarantee that their rights will not be violated is to fight for the rights of others regardless of their or your own characteristics.
Researcher Lusine Karamyan mentioned that it is important to build relationships based on human qualities rather than on gender orientation and gender identity.
“LGBTI people exist regardless of the actions and perceptions of others, and it is more logical to accept that fact and to build relationships based on human qualities, affection degree, mutual respect, desire to be friends, feeling of love but not sexual orientation and gender identity”,- said Lusine Karamyan.
Nvard Margaryan, the chairperson of PINK Armenia NGO, noted that the society members should ask themselves whether it is a freedom when friends or family members cannot enjoy their rights.
At the end of the event, Lilit Avetisyan, one of the moderators, said sincerely: in front of that audience with whom LGBTI issues were being discussed, she did not have to wait for any negative reaction holding her breathe.