The existence of a gay scene in Yerevan

28 Apr, 2018
In this article you can find out why and when to visit Armenia and Yerevan, how friendly this city is for LGBT persons, where to go for gay-friendly dinner options, bars, clubs and other venues, what are the most important LGBT events of the year not to be missed; how to meet locals; and other interesting and important practical details.

About Armenia and Yerevan

Armenia is a country that borders with Azerbaijan, Turkey, Iran etc. Armenia, or as its citizens call it, Hajredan, is a post-Soviet republic located in the southern Caucasus. Chess is a compulsory subject in schools. All the students are obliged to learn about chess, play it and practice, and there are even examinations.

Armenia is the first country to proclaim Christianity to the state religion. Here are some of the most beautiful churches in the world today, and 97 percent of the inhabitants are declared to be Christians. One of the first churches in the world was built in Armenia in the 4th century.

Today, it has the seat of the Armenian Church, and in the last couple of years, it is about its reconstruction. About 1.5 million Armenians were killed in a genocide that began in 1915 during Ottoman rule. The Turks deny this genocide today. Armenia is one of the countries with the longest tradition of wine production. All residents are exceptionally proud and celebrate the Ararat mountain, which allegedly once protected the country from a powerful earthquake. It is believed that Noah was on top of her with her arch!

The capital of Yerevan is known as the 'Pink City' because a large part of the building is made of a volcanic rock with shades of pink color. Walking in Yerevan, the capital city, is the best-seen contrast to the economic power of Armenian citizens. In a stark center at first glance, all looks shiny and bright, the streets run luxurious terraces, and showrooms show the latest collections of fashion brands Gucci and Armani. However, it is enough to walk twenty meters in the other direction and the atmosphere is completely changing into post-socialist, poor reality. Sometimes it is even enough to look behind a wall and to surprise the scene of total contradiction. Really interesting city to visit, while for life, maybe not.

The Yerevan Yard is a national center of cultural activities and progress, filled with impressive museums and vibrant modern art scene. Return to early Christianity and feel the mystic of old Armenian churches and monasteries. Enjoy the wonderful hilly landscapes, places that seem to have stopped in time and forgotten from the rest of the world. Get closer to the local population, try the local cuisine and do not forget to try your favorite local drink, Armenian cognac. One of the symbols of the earth is apricot, symbolized by the orange color on the flag.

Situation of LGBT

PINK (Public Information and Need of Knowledge) organization from Armenia is one of the most important organizations working on the question of LGBT rights.
The recently published IGLA-Europe report on LGBT rights argues that Armenia is the third worst country in Europe for LGBT people.

PINK was established in 2007 and has mainly acted in the sphere of prevention of sexually transmitted diseases with a high emphasis on HIV and AIDS, and over the years it has started to deal with human rights that have become the core of the organization's work over time. The organization is active in the field of LGBT rights, but also gender equality, and is thus one of the founders of the Coalition against Violence against Women.
Social Empowerment and Education are one of their projects aimed at developing civic activism and citizen awareness in Armenia, within which we provide psychological and social support to LGBT people, we organize weekly events, discussions, screenings, etc. Social Justice Begins with You is a project title, whose goal is to unite young people around issues such as social justice and the role everyone has in its realization. The most motivated and most interested young people attending the training sessions have the opportunity to take part in the GATE (Gender, Activism, Tolerance, Equality) camp, which discusses activism, gender equality, and sexuality. As part of this project, we have an electronic journal As You, which offers articles covering the issue of activism in Armenia.

The problem of the LGBT person is actually the inactivity of the state. There is no political will to support the LGBT movement. Hence the majority of problems arise. State representatives and politicians often have homophobic statements. Even the Parliamentary House served as a place where several very homophobic statements were made several times, supporting homophobic attacks.

The activists organized Queering Yerevan in 2008, as a platform for meeting, discussing and making Yerevan more queer. It has been a female project, and the best you got out of it is musical duo S-pichka. It’s a female djane duo that is playing progressive music, currently living in Sweden, where the duo looked for asylum after the attack on a bar of one of the girls in Yerevan.

The parade was organized in 2012 and was attacked by anti-gay protesters. Since then, it happened a couple of more times, but the parade never brought any politicians up front.

If you want to drink coffee or drink or just enjoy your day feel free to visit the places:

The Club - Nightclub buzzing with LGBT’s - 40 Tumanyan St. Stoyka - Day bar. - Nalbandyan Street 48

Square One - An American restaurant. Address Abovyan Street 1/3 Art Bridge Café - Address Abovyan Street 20