By Shushan Harutyunyan
20-year old Ruben is a bartender at the only gay bar in Yerevan and also one of few ammoniums bloggers that actively campaign for gay rights in Armenia. Ruben has not told his family about the nature of his activities, only a few of his friends know. And those few friends are also aware of the fact that Ruben is in love with a boy.
“My parents were suspicious of my sexual orientation during my last years of school, and we had many fights about it at home. Now we don’t talk about it anymore; they think I’ve changed”, said Ruben.
Ruben is a student and future economist. He said his greatest problem has been to overcome the period of dispute with his parents and resigning himself to his current situation.
“When my parents found out, they isolated me. They wouldn’t talk to me, kept being hard on me and I was in a very bad state psychologically. I was aggressive and behaved badly – imagine what you would do if the world you lived in did not accept you,” Ruben said.
Mistreatment and intolerance of homosexuals, which often then turns into animosity, are seem to be typical in Armenian society. Our own survey we conducted among 100 people of different ages in the center of Yerevan offered further support to this position. Continue reading