Sunday, September 22, 2013

#Commit2Equality for LGBT Armenians

There hasn't been a week that's gone by that I haven't thought about this blog and more specifically, that I haven't felt guilty about not updating it (... in 4 months!). It is still a very near and dear project of mine and one I'm not willing to let go of yet... that being said, I cannot guarantee that I'll update it regularly, though I will sure as hell try. So bear with me, and check in every once in a while...

Here is a poster of a campaign by Equality California that a few of us helped translate into Armenian. By all no means was it easy trying to find a word or expression in Armenian for "coming out" — the best suggestion and the one we finally went with was «տեսանելի լինել հանրության մեջ», which roughly (and literally) translates to "being visible in public" (which is as good as it's gonna get at the moment).

Friday, May 17, 2013

We Are All Georgian LGBT Rights Activists

Violence erupted in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, today as thousands of counter protestors attacked a peaceful demonstration organized by gay rights activists to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO). Protestors apparently threw stones and injured not only the activists, but also police officers. I've seen photos of several vehicles with their windows smashed and videos of protestors attacking the minibus in which gay rights activists sought refuge and with which they were escorted away from the scene by law enforcement authorities. Horrific. And disgraceful.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Civil Society and NGOs in Armenia

Is the existence of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) equivalent to civil society? That is, the more NGOs you have, the more civil society you have. What does civil society mean, anyway? Before I moved to Armenia, I have to be honest, I hadn’t really come across the term. Having spent several years working in the non-profit (or not-for-profit) sector in Canada, I moved to the other side of the ocean only to realize that (a) “non-profit” is more often replaced with the term “non-governmental” and (b) the non-governmental sector and civil society are used almost interchangeably. But are they one and the same?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Protesting Same-Sex Marriage and Adoption: What’s the Real Reason?

A BBC article titled “Mass Paris rally against gay marriage in France” I read this morning has really got my knickers in a knot (excuse the expression).

Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that the issues of same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples has once again riled the masses to the point that they feel the need to take to the streets and protest.

As I wrote the sentence above, I remembered the crowd that gathered to protest the Diversity March held in Yerevan in May 2012. And though those in Armenia protesting diversity (they thought it was a Pride Parade, but still) is not the same as those in France protesting same-sex marriage or adoption rights, there is an underlying thread — it’s called homophobia.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

In all honesty…

I have been contemplating ideas for the title of this blog post for a few days now with contenders such as “Family Portrait” (because I recently visited my family and there’s always so much to say and process after a trip back home) and “Mirrors” (because I noticed how many mirrors there are in homes and apartments in Toronto and I wanted to compare this with the mirrors in apartments I’ve stayed in Brussels which are always fewer and always placed just slightly too high — Belgians aren’t known for being tall, are they? Anyway, the topic of mirrors seemed to lend itself nicely to making inferences about where I am and comparing places and experiences and… well, you get the picture).