2 hours ago

Equality Armenia

Today we remember a hero. Hrant Dink was the editor-in-chief of the bilingual Turkish-Armenian newspaper Agos. As a prominent member of the Armenian minority in Turkey, Dink advocated for Turkish–Armenian reconciliation and human rights. He was often critical of Turkey's denial of the Armenian Genocide.

Dink was prosecuted three times for denigrating Turkishness, while receiving numerous death threats from Turkish nationalists. On January 19, 2007, Dink was assassinated in Istanbul in front of his office, soon after the release of Screamers, a documentary in collaboration by System of a Down and Serj Tankian, in which Dink was interviewed about the Armenian Genocide. More than 100,000 Turkish citizens marched at his funeral, many carried placards that read: "We are all Hrant Dink."

The International Hrant Dink Award was born in 2009 by the Hrant Dink Foundation on his birthday, September 15th. In 2015, which marked the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, the 7th International Hrant Dink Award was granted to women’s rights activist Samar Badawi from Saudi Arabia and to Kaos GL, an organization that advocates for LGBT rights in Turkey.

Receiving the statue on behalf of Kaos GL, Ali Erol reminded that LGBT individuals lived their entire lives in the “disquiet” that took the life of Hrank Dink. He also noted that emancipation of LGBT people was a prerequisite for the liberalization of the society. Erol said that racist and nationalistic discourses institutionalized through state policies did create “enemies of the nation” and that this fake “national integrity” could only be overcome by building bridges across various struggles for freedom.

#HrantDink #WeAllAreHrantDink #LGBTRightsinArmenia #LGBTArmenians #EqualityArmenia #Armenia #KaosGL #AliErol
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1 week ago

Equality Armenia

Happy Birthday to a legend. Armenian cinematic genius Sergei Parajanov (1924-1990) was an unapologetic, flamboyant artist who broke many customs and criticized Soviet authorities for state controlled filmmaking bureaucracy. Partly for his work, partly for his “unconventional lifestyle” and partly for his criticism of the system, he was jailed three times. In 1947 Parajanov was arrested for “homosexual acts”. He was sentenced to five years in prison in Siberia.

Parajanov had two short-lived marriages to women and had a son, Suren Parajanov who is also a filmmaker. Parajanov’s queerness is unmistakable in his films. Often, his works focused intensely on his appreciation for male beauty found in cinematic expression. In 2015, in an interview with Gordon, a Ukrainian magazine, his son didn’t deny that his father was bisexual. Suren stated that it was “possible that his father was [sexually] involved with many men”.

His two best-known films, “The Color of Pomegranates” (1969), a film about the 18th century Armenian poet Sayat-Nova, and “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” (1965) are timeless masterpieces regularly making rounds in film festival circuits and are taught in filmmaking schools. When convenient, he was celebrated by the Soviets as a multinational artist, as he wrote, created works in three languages - Armenian, Ukrainian and Georgian. But when he spoke up and lived truthfully, Parajanov was relentlessly persecuted and blacklisted.

Despite his often interrupted career in his formative years, Parajanov left behind a prolific collection of national treasures. Parajanov died in 1990 from lung cancer at the age of 66. There’s a museum dedicated to him in Yerevan that opened its doors in June of 1991, one year after his death. Beyond the traditional, the museum houses a lot of his art that was made while he was incarcerated.

Parajanov’s style is imitated among filmmakers through the decades. Russian filmmaker Alexei German's film "Hard to Be a God" shows influences from Parajanov. Additionally, Madonna's "Bedtime Story" and R.E.M's "Losing My Religion" have been said to draw inspiration from "The Color of Pomegranates”, which has been inducted in the Criterion Collection.

#lgbtarmenians #armenia #sergeiparajanov #equalityarmenia
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3 weeks ago

Equality Armenia

Happy New Year! Let 2019 be filled with victories for equality for all Armenians in Armenia and around the world. Let families be more loving towards their LGBT members, let governments be equally responsive to their LGBT citizens and let us all celebrate each other for who we are, as we are stronger together.

#HappyNewYear #LgbtArmenians #EqualityArmenia #Loveislove #loveistheanswer #peace #2019
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4 weeks ago

Equality Armenia

🗣We’re getting a lot of requests for this to be translated/converted into Armenian. If you can, please DM us. We’ll give you a shoutout and post it proudly everywhere. 🖖🏽

Merry Christmas everyone. Love is the answer. Love is love. Love is constant.

Leviticus 19:18
You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

1 John 4:7
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.

1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
.
1 John 13:34-35
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Romans 13:8
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

#merrychristmas #lgbtchristian #Loveistheanswer #jesusislove #lgbtarmenian #equalityarmenia
#Armenia #bethlehem #palestine
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1 month ago

Equality Armenia

Friends and allies, world renowned designer Michael Aram will be in Glendale today from 4-8PM at the Le Papillon gift shop inscribing autographs into merchandise purchased in store. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet this exemplary patriot who has given so much to the Armenian community.

For commemorating the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, the Armenian Church commissioned Aram to create a monument immortalizing the 1.5 million victims and celebrating the survivors. His creation, a stainless steel sculpture named “Migrations”, was constructed in 2015 and is displayed at St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral located in New York City. The dedication ceremony was led by Archbishop Khajag Barsamian.

In 2016, the Armenian government invited Aram to create a sculpture for Pope Francis on behalf of the people. Aram’s creation, arguably the most existential symbol of Armenians, the Noah’s Ark on Mount Ararat, was presented to the Pope and is permanently installed at the Vatican. During the dedication ceremony in Republic Square in Yerevan, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians blessed the soil and water brought from Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Kuwait, Iran and Turkey. The soil and water were later poured in to the ark.

Throughout his career, Michael Aram has been supportive of many Armenian causes. He has generously contributed to fundraisers for Equality Armenia, Galas, the American University of Armenia (an affiliate of University of California), for SOAR (Society for Orphaned Armenian Relief), Tumo Center for Creative Technologies, and COAF (Children of Armenia Fund) where he is a board member.

Michael Aram, his partner Aret Tikiryan and their twin children were riders on the 2017 Armenian Rose Float at the 128th Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, themed Echoes of Success. The Armenian Rose Float won the 2017 “Past President’s Trophy.”

#LGBTArmenians #LosAngeles #Glendale #Armenia #EqualityArmenia #MichaelAram #ArchbishopKhajagBarsamian #SaintVartanArmenianCathedral #CatholicosKarekinII #LGBTRolemodels #Peace #LoveIsLove #Inclusivenes
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2 months ago

Equality Armenia

Happy Thanksgiving to the LGBTQ community, their allies and future allies all around the world. Gobble gobble!

Although many of us don't have our families to go home to this Thanksgiving because they have rejected us for being LGBTQ, increasingly, we celebrate "Friendsgiving" as an encouraging, authentic alternative with our chosen families. Love is love. We all need to be loved and we are stronger together.

Feasting together has always been a symbol of peace and acceptance. While ignorance and hate towards the LGBTQ are still prevalent, especially towards our trans siblings, we must take our presence at the table as an opportunity to gently educate our relatives and friends by speaking our truth (if it is safe) in million ways until the world is a united, loving and inclusive space for all of us.

Whether you’re introduced as roommates, best friends, lovers, partners or spouses at the holiday table to the extended in-laws, remember that everyone is entitled to their opinion, but they're not allowed to discriminate. If you decide to attend a Thanksgiving gathering today, go and be out and proud, especially if you’ll have an opportunity to be a role model for kids who might be present. You might be a lifeline to one of these kids.

#LGBTArmenians #LosAngeles #Armenia #EqualityArmenia #Thanksgiving #Friendsgiving #LGBTRolemodels #Peace #Love #Inclusivenes
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2 months ago

Equality Armenia

The City of Glendale, California and the Downtown Central Library have created a groundbreaking, unprecedented event: Body Politics. The event has attracted some opposition from local residents. We urge our allies to visit the exhibition and call or email the library at 818-548-2021 / ReflectSpace@glendaleca.gov to actively express gratitude for presenting a more inclusive, authentic experience of the times.

“Body Politics,” is part of a “general transformation in Glendale,” according to Ara Oshagan, who co-curated the exhibitions at the library's ReflectSpace and PassageWay galleries with his wife Anahid Oshagan said guest curator Anahid Yahjian. Launched on National Coming Out Day and running through Nov. 21, the exhibits juxtapose contemporary visual art and archival materials, illustrating the collective political force of queer experience.

The work of featured artist, Annie Tritt, showcases series of LGBTQ youth portraits and quotes from the subjects and their parents. Works of Nicole Kelly and Phoebe Unter, created as a sound installation, is an imaginary conversation between Oprah and a feminist speaker via altered audio recordings.

Artist Devon Shimoyama, who currently has a solo show at the Warhol Museum, presents his mixed-media creations and a photograph of one of his past performances. The exhibition also includes works from a Glendale local artist Grey James.

An anonymous Armenia-based female photographer is also featured in the exhibition. Her identity was withheld at her request as she has received death threats in the past for depicting LGBTQ art.

There’s also a continually running film by James Wentzy about the AIDS advocacy group ACT UP, formed in 1987. The informational panels showcasing the history of LGBTQ civil rights activism compiled by the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at USC.

Upcoming Programming:

Film - Professor Broderick Fox & lecture
Thursday, November 8.

Queer Pop Up Café - bridging cross cultural LGBTQ voices co-sponsored by Gay And Lesbian Armenian Society.
Sunday, November 18.

#LGBTArmenians #LosAngeles #Armenia #GlendaleCentralLibrary #Glendale #LGBTQArt #LGBTQAlly #Gay #Armenian #DevonShimoyama #GreyJames #NicoleKelly #PhoebeUnter #EqualityArmenia #marriageequality
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3 months ago

Equality Armenia

ANCA Western Region endorses two openly gay candidates in the upcoming midterm elections in California. Jeffrey Prang for Los Angeles County Tax Assessor and California Senator Ricardo Lara for California Insurance Commissioner.

As a reminder, polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. in California. Visit the California Elections Headquarters www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ for election related questions.

The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.

#ArmenianCommunity #ANCA #EqualityArmenia #JeffreyPrang #RicardoLara

asbarez.com/175656/anca-wr-announces-mid-term-election-endorsements/
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3 months ago

Equality Armenia

In his final speech to the Armenian Assembly, Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan / Նիկոլ Փաշինյան addresses the LGBT “problem” in a precarious fashion. The probe was raised by homophobic MP Gevorg Petrosyan, from Prosperous Armenia party. Pashinyan’s remarks leave us with more questions, rather than an understanding about where he stands on the issue.

Initially in a measured manner, Pashinyan recalls a recent experience in Paris (while he was attending the funeral of LGBT icon, legendary singer Charles Aznavour) when room-service at his hotel was provided by an Armenian young man, who after identifying himself gay, questioned the Prime Minister [about the attacks on nine LGBT individuals in Syunik province of Armenia in August of 2018]. Equality Armenia would like to know who that man was. Please help us find that brave man.

Then Pashinyan eerily lamented about Soviet era laws incriminating homosexuality and “lynching and executions before that”. While pledging support for “traditional family values”, Pashinyan stated that the country will have to address “the existence of LGBT people” if not now, then in 20 or 30 years.

Here is the issue today. Like most Armenians, we are happy with the Velvet Revolution and the direction the country is taking to rid itself from corruption and cronyism. Please help us understand if Nikol Pashinyan is a potential partner in advancing human rights to LGBT individuals in Armenia or is he a foe?

#nikolpashinyan #lgbtrightsinarmenia #homophobia #equalityarmenia #LGBT #Armenia #charlesaznavouryoutube.com
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3 months ago

Equality Armenia

Happy National Coming Out Day!

These wise words are true in any language.

#HarveyMilk
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4 months ago

Equality Armenia

Today we mourn the loss of a legend and celebrate his incredible life that spanned through nine decades on stage. An LGBT icon Charles Aznavour, a trailblazer, died today at the age of 94.

Son of survivors of the Armenian Genocide, Aznavour was born in France. He was named TIME magazine’s Entertainer of the 20th Century, he was an author of 1,200 songs in 8 languages, he sold more than 180 million records, appeared in 80 film. Charles Aznavour was one of the earliest allies of the LGBT community.

It is mostly unknown in the Armenian community, but in 1972, risking censorship and backlash, Aznavour wrote what he called “the first song about homosexuality,” 46 years ago. The song is called What Makes a Man.

Aznavour wrote the song based on experiences of his friends who were gay. He wrote it to tell the stories of good people who were “marginalized” in the society.

In an interview with The Telegraph, he stated “I wanted to write what nobody else was writing. I’m very open, very risky, not afraid of breaking my career because of one song. I don’t let the public force me to do what they want me to do. I force them to listen to what I have done. That’s the only way to progress, and to make the public progress.”

In his song, Aznavour wrote:

So many times we have to pay. For having fun and being gay

It’s not amusing. There’s always those who spoil our games

By finding fault and calling names. Always accusing

Yet they make fun of how I talk. And imitate the way I walk

Tell me if you can. What makes a man a man.

I know my life is not a crime. I’m just a victim of my time

I stand defenseless. Nobody has the right to be the judge of what is right for me

Tell me if you can. What makes a man a man.

Here’s the song with Armenian subtitles.

youtu.be/yctV89i1cfo

#CharlesAznavour #LGBTIcon #Armenian #French #WhatMakesAManAManОписание
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4 months ago

Equality Armenia

Happy Independence Day Armenia!!

Before Armenia officially adopted the tricolor flag it uses today, in 1919, renowned artist Martiros Saryan, who’s also the founder of the modern Armenian National School of Painting, proposed a prototype rainbow flag for the first republic of Armenia. However, it was not chosen. The original prototype is on display at the Martiros Saryan House Museum in Yerevan.

#ArmenianIndependenceDay #Pride #ArmenianLGBT #EqualityArmenia
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4 months ago

Equality Armenia

Last week, as part of ANCA led delegation to Armenia, California State Assemblymember and California Legislature LGBT Caucus Chair Evan Low toured Armenia meeting with high-level officials, including Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan / Նիկոլ Փաշինյան. This was Low’s first visit to Armenia. The delegation’s aim was to increase collaboration between California and Armenia through educational institutions, IT sector, and trade.

Other members of the delegation included California Senator Anthony Portantino and City of Glendale Mayor Zareh Sinanyan; both marched with Equality Armenia at the 2018 Los Angeles Pride Parade. As one of most active allies of the Armenian community in California, Senator Portantino is also an early supporter of LGBT rights. He is the brother of LGBT activist, late Michael Portantino, the editor of Gay & Lesbian Times.

Chairman Low and the delegation also toured the American University of Armenia (AUA) and met with AUA President Der Kiureghian. They toured the campus making stops at the AGBU Papazian Library, the Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center (EPIC) with its prototyping lab, and the newly constructed Student Union, Faculty Center and Open Amphitheater adjacent to the Paramaz Avedisian Building.

To recognize Portantino’s efforts and initiatives supporting Armenia and AUA, Dr. Der Kiureghian presented the Senator a trophy with the following inscription: “Given to Senator Anthony J. Portantino in appreciation for his support of the Armenian Community in California and the American University of Armenia.” Senator Portantino had recently introduced a successful bill in the California Senate for six full-tuition scholarships at UC Hastings College of Law for AUA graduates.

#CALGBT #AUA #EvanLow #AnthonyPortantino #ZarehSinanyan #ANCA #NikolPashinyan #LGBTRightsInArmenia #EqualityArmenia
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8 months ago

Equality Armenia

Sir Elton John is on a humanitarian mission in Armenia. His foundation supports hearing aid implants program in the country. While meeting with President Armen Sarkissian, he stated that he’d like to help rid Armenian society of the stigma associated with the LGBT community.

While President Sarkissian dodged the “LGBT question”, his response was neutral. As Elton John mentioned, it is a relatively newly independent country where change is slow, yet there’s a lot of energy, yearning for a change.

President Sarkissian told reporters at the the Hayk and Elza Titizian Children’s Rehabilitation Center, “Elton John is a friend of Armenia, as he has many Armenian friends, and I am one of them.“ He added, "Elton is not only a great singer, but also a great intellectual who knows the history of Armenia well.”

It is to be noted that on Feb. 26, 2017 Elton John‘s foundation hosted the annual Oscar Viewing Party with a screening of The Promise, set during the Armenian Genocide. Subsequently all proceeds of the film were donated to various charities including Elton John’s AIDS Foundation. Elton John mentioned that his foundation will help Armenians with HIV/AIDS and the LGBT community in Armenia.

Elton John is scheduled to meet with newly elected Prime Minister, populist Nikol Pashinyan. PM Pashinyan, who was a anti-corruption investigative journalist, is a wise man who has done a good job of surrounding himself in good company. His cabinet choices have been progressive.

There is a lot of work to be done, though there’s hope. There is energy for change. Elton John’s visit to Armenia marks a milestone in the narrative of the LGBT community.

Photos courtesy of News.am

#LosAngeles #Armenia #eltonjohn
#LGBTQAlly #Gay #Armenian #EqualityArmenia #marriageequality #velvetrevolution
#nikolpashinyan #armensarkissian
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