Last year the state manifested discrimination in a very direct way. Nvard Margaryan

“2017 was a year of a number of achievements and at the same time full of many problems for LGBTI people and their allies”, – notes Nvard Margaryan, the chairperson of PINK Armenia NGO, in her interview with LGBTnews.

According to Margaryan, the most apparent negative phenomenon that has been manifested last year was the state’s direct discrimination against LGBTI people.

“If in the past years this discrimination dad been indirect, then last year the state has directly expressed discriminatory attitude”, – highlighted Margaryan reminding the examples of dismantling the posters on LGBTI people’s rights by Yerevan Municipality, not considering these ads as social advertisements by the Ministry of Culture, not screening “Listen to me” movie about LGBTI people within the frameworks of “Golden Apricot” film festival.

In 2017, according to Margaryan, domestic violence against LGBTI persons, eviction of juveniles from families has continued to take place reaching up to the recorded case of an LGBTI person’s suicide.

 According to Nvard Margaryan, the greatest achievement for 2017 is the increased visibility of LGBTI persons: during this one year, LGBTI people and their problems have always been a topic of discussion during different months.

“It’s positive that besides LGBTIs, many others began talking about the protection of LGBTI rights. One of the most important events for our organization is that we have begun working with families of LGBTI people and that work has been productive”, – says the chairperson of the NGO.

According to Margaryan, in case of any discrimination by the state, a certain mass of the society has expressed its support for LGBTI persons. For example, when “Listen to me” movie was removed from the list of “Golden Apricot” Festival, many directors and other people spoke against censorship.

Margaryan notices: “Discrimination against LGBTI persons and their visibility increase are interconnected with each other”.

“Visibility increase leads to the growth of manifestations of discrimination and voicing them leads to the increase of visibility”, – says Nvard Margaryan.

The latter also spoke about their expectations and plans for 2018:

“We will continue the work that we have done in previous years – capacity building, working with the community, awareness raising on LGBTI persons and their problems, advocacy of laws, human rights protection, strategic litigations. We are waiting for the developments in the law on equality as well, although we do not have big expectations”, – said Nvard Margaryan in her interview with us.

To make Armenia a safe environment for everyone where people will be able express themselves, where human rights will not violated only because they differ in some features: this is what Nvard Margaryan wants to see in 2018 and in general.