Join AGLA NY for the 2015 NYC Pride March

Screen Shot 2015-06-22 at 12.59.32 PM
Sunday June 28th, 12:30pm

We will be marching once again in this year’s NYC Pride Parade!

This is an event that our members are excited about each year, and we hope to make this year another great one.

We are finalizing you meeting time and location and will send an email out with details in the next few days.

If you have trouble finding us or want to make sure you have a phone number to contact on the day of the event, please email

Please let us know if you are coming. You can also RSVP to the Facebook event as well and invite others – and again, all are welcome to attend!

All supporters and friends are welcome to join us as we march!


Meeting at the Center – March 12, 2015, 7pm

n17382403969_1089525_8238Our next general meeting is going to be Thursday 3/12, 2015 at 7pm, at the NYC LGTB Center. If you’re not familiar with the Center, it’s at 208 W. 13th St in Manhattan.

We’ll be in Room 305.

Hope to see you there!

“Homoerotic poetry and Yeghishe Charents” – AGLA NY Spring Lecture with James Russell 4/2 at 8pm

JR Russell St PetersburgAGLA NY is pleased to present a talk by Harvard Professor of Armenian Studies James Russell on “Homoerotic poetry and Yeghishe Charents” on Thursday, April 2nd, 2015, 8pm, in room 310 at the Manhattan LGBTQ Center; 208 West 13th Street, New York, NY.

Please join us for an evening of poetry, analysis, community spirit and learn about some fascinating aspects of modern Armenian poetry and culture.

Prof. Russell is an energetic speaker and a fascinating figure. Born in New York City he has been together with his partner Dennis Cordell, a teacher, painter, photographer, and scholar of Tibetan Buddhism, for 35 years. As an undergraduate at Columbia he was in the Gay Activists’ Alliance. He paints, plays guitar (really badly), rides a motorcycle, and is learning Chinese. He is writing a book on the Armenian poet Missak Medzarents, which he hopes to finish this spring.

Some years ago, Russell deciphered, transcribed, translated, and published in facsimile a number of homoerotic poems by the great Soviet Armenian poet Yeghishe Charents. The manuscripts were hidden with other documents on the eve of the poet’s arrest and murder during the Great Purge of 1937. Russell explains: “I was given copies in the collection of the poet Gevorg Emin, who as a boy had known Charents. My article was reprinted in the Yerevan journal Ink’nagir and aroused controversy: there is considerable homophobia in Armenian society.  The late medieval poet Catholicos Grigoris Aght’amarts’i wrote a love poem whose most likely addressee was a beautiful male youth. There is nothing unusual about that, or about the imagery he employed, which was and is commonplace in the Islamicate cultures amongst whom many Armenians lived and continue to live. Homosexual feelings and acts are defined differently, comprise part of one’s identity in a different way, and have a different context in the Near East than in the modern West. But they are there. Perhaps the greatest poet of modern Greece, an east Christian country and culture close in many ways to Armenia, was C.P. Cavafy, whose homosexuality was the subject of most of his verses. In civilized countries today the human and civil rights of gays and lesbians are protected by law; but the struggle of my generation, who lived in the time of the Stonewall uprising, is not yet finished. After a lifetime in Armenian studies I will reflect on being gay, on what gay poetry is, and on the homoerotic poems of Charents in the larger context of his great work.”

Russell has also taught at Columbia University and at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. He is the author of numerous works, including Zoroastrianism in Armenia and Bosphorus Nights: The Complete Lyric Poems of Bedros Tourian. A few recent publications are “The Book of the Way (Girk‘ chanaparhi) of Yeghishe Charents: An Illuminated Apocalyptic Gospel for Soviet Armenia,” Armenian Studies Program Occasional Paper Series, University of California, Berkeley, Spring 2012; “Armenian Secret and Invented Languages and Argots,” Acta Linguistica Petropolitana, 2012; and “The Seh-lerai Language,” Journal of Armenian Studies  (2012-2013).“

Lousine: Lesbian Matchmaker To The Straights

Lousine: Lesbian Matchmaker To The Straights is a comedy web series that follows Lousine, who not only seeks to help the “straights” find love but, she explores her own sexuality and bravely comes out to her mother and family.  Written by, directed by and starring AGLA NY’s very own Lousine Shamamian.
View all 11 episodes on YouTube

SR Socially Relevant Film Festival, March 16 – 22

diyf_ratedsr2015_footerAGLA NY is proud to be a friend and supporter of the Socially Relevant Film Festival, March 16 – 22, 2015! This year’s lineup offers Armenian films in commemoration of the centenary of the Armenian Genocide, as well as “Love is the Highest Law” on LGBT rights in Russia (on March 20). Check out the program here and mark your calendars!

The festival’s timely and socially engaging selection offers World and U.S. premieres, in addition to a slate of tributes and industry panels. This year’s lineup of 54 films from 33 countries opens with Come to my Voice, at CUNY Graduate Center, Proshansky Auditorium March 16, at 7pm.

A wide range of social issues are portrayed during the rest of the week, namely: Gun control & police brutality, Race relations & discrimination, Violence against women & empowering women, LGBT rights, Conflict in the Mideast, The environment & climate change, The US economy & oil rush, Immigration & exile. You can browse all films by theme at

Founded by Actor/producer Nora Armani in 2013, the festival runs from March 16 – 22, 2015 at Tribeca Cinemas, Maysles Cinema, the Quad Cinema & SVA (School of Visual Art – Chelsea campus). For more information, times, venues and tickets visit:

AGLA NY Armenian Christmas Party – Jan 24, 2015


Armenian Christmas Party 
Saturday January 24th, 8:30pm
Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY (Email us at for address)

It’s that time of year for us to get together to celebrate Armenian Christmas!

We will be celebrating the holiday at our biggest annual event with good food, drinks and friends!

Two AGLA members have generously opened their home for Armenian Christmas and we hope you are able join us. We look forward to seeing you!

Please feel free to bring along either food and drinks to share.

RSVP to so we can tell you the exact address and ensure we have food and drinks for everyone.

Shunorhavor Nor Dari yev Soorp Dzunoont!

Dear Armen: Immersive Theater Production Comes to New York City

May 7, 8, 10, 13, 15 and 16 at Alwan for the Arts (Located downtown at 16 Beaver Street) Reception at 7:30pm, Showtime at 8:00pm


This audience-immersive theater experience starring Kamee Abrahamian and D. Lee Williams Boudakian was inspired by Armen Ohanian, an enigmatic performer and poet who survived early 20th century anti-Armenian pogroms in Baku. Integrating traditional Armenian dance, erotic performance, and spoken word, Dear Armen follows young Garineh, who has been delving into the life and art of Ohanian in search of a role model and mentor. Garineh begins unraveling questions about her own gender, sexuality, ethnicity, family, and the role of the artist in modern life.

Ohanian’s story serves as a means to uncover and explore the powerful and complex “femininity” of modern Armenian women. Ohanian was not only a performer, but also a producer, choreographer, and director—thus claiming roles that have been traditionally assigned to men. Through experimental, interdisciplinary performance, Saboteur Productions reincarnates Ohanian’s life and spirit – demonstrating her ability to transform herself and the audience’s perception of theatre and the erotic. The play’s narrative bridges a century of women and artists determined to live life on their own terms. The play was written by D.Lee Williams Boudakian and is directed by Abrahamian and Boudakian..

Saboteur Productions was founded in 2013 by long-time collaborators Kamee Abrahamian and Tiffany Golarz. This audience-interactive, site-specific theater company blends dance, circus, physical theater and spoken word. Beginning with The Blood Ballet in 2010, the two producers spearheaded the growth of Montreal’s cabaret scene and has toured around the globe, including Tokyo, Berlin, and Tel Aviv—and also mounted the production of Panama City’s inaugural burlesque show.

Independent producers Christopher Atamian (AGLA NY Member) and Kathleen Minogue Keagy are co-producing this New York premiere.

Visit for details.

Tickets are available at:

The Part of You That is Me: A Reading of Queer, Crossed and Hidden Histories from Multiple Diasporas


Inspired by the recent stories from Turkey of hidden Armenians in family trees, the readers for Gartal: The Part of You That Is Me will be sharing stories, poems and nonfiction on hidden and shared histories – from various cultures and identities, queer and otherwise. 

Since 2002, Gartal (“to read” in Armenian) has been an independent forum for both established and emerging writers of Armenian descent and/or multicultural writers dealing with related themes to read their poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and dramatic texts to the public. For more information, email

Gartal presents:

The Part of You That is Me:
A Reading of Queer, Crossed and Hidden Histories from Multiple Diasporas

Featuring readings by Danielle Abrams, Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán, Lola Koundakjian, & Alan Semerdjian

Sunday, May 11, 2014 6 – 7:30 pm

Bowery Arts + Science
308 Bowery, New York, NY 10012
Subways: F to 2nd Ave; B,D,F,M to Broadway-Lafayette; 6 to Bleecker Street; N, R to Prince St.

$10 admission

Hosted by Nancy Agabian
Sponsored by the Armenian Gay and Lesbian Association of New York

For more information visit


Continue reading

Drink and Drag AGLA NY Fall Social Event

Hi AGLY NY Friends!

This month, instead of our regular meetings at the LGBT Center, AGLA NY is having a social event!

Please join us on Thursday November 14th @ 8:00 PM at Hardware Bar (697 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036; Between 47 & 48th St). We welcome you to come and meet your fellow AGLA NY members and enjoy happy hour ’till 9 and drag around 11!

Please RSVP by confirming your attendance on the Facebook event page:

We hope to see you there!

Statement Against Armenian Police Proposal

The Armenian Gay and Lesbian Association of New York is alarmed that in August 2013 the Armenian police proposed a ban on “promoting non-traditional sexual relationships”, which would effectively target LGBT people in Armenia with prejudice. We call for the President, Prime Minister, and Parliament to strike down any further attempts to legislate discrimination against LGBT Armenians.

After the DIY bar bombing and attack on a cultural diversity march in Yerevan in May of 2012, it was clear that intervention was needed to guarantee human rights. But little has been done. Some LGBT Armenians, productive members of society, have been forced to leave Armenia after the events of last May in order to escape threats to their lives. The DIY firebombers have been sentenced with little more than a slap on the wrist. Recent violent threats against organizations that work for gender equality indicate the need for more protection, not persecution.

The police proposed Article 47.7 to the Administrative Violations Code, which threatened the civil rights of LGBT people and any individual or organization who would discuss LGBT issues in public. Though the bill was withdrawn, it seems it was only because it was poorly drafted, suggesting the motivation was merely an expression by the police of prejudice. The fact that the wording of the bill echoes legislation in Russia is even more disturbing, given the levels of violence waged against LGBT people there since its passage. Now that Armenia has signed on to a Customs Union with Russia, it seems the situation is dire, and that continuing emulation of Russian laws will follow.

AGLA NY and members of the Diaspora have been watching signs of human rights violations in Armenia with growing concern. We now ask the government to follow its own constitution in guaranteeing the rights of all its citizens by taking a stand against any future attempts to legislate against LGBT people.


Նյու-Յորքի հայ գեյերի եւ լեսբուհիների ասոցիացիան (ԱԳԼԱ Նյու-Յորք) մտահոգ է այն փաստով, որ 2013թ. օգոստոսին սկզբում Հայաստանի ոստիկանությունը արգելք առաջարկեց «ոչ ավանդական սեռական հարաբերությունների վերաբերյալ քարոզչության» համար, ինչն արդյունավետ կերպով նախապաշարմունքներով կթիրախավորեր Հայաստանում ԼԳԲՏ մարդկանց: Մենք կո ́չ ենք անում Նախագահին, Վարչապետին եւ ԱԺ- ին վերջ դնել ԼԳԲՏ հայերի նկատմամբ խտրականության օրինականացման ցանկացած այլ փորձի:

2012թ. մայիսին Երեւանում DIY բարի պայթեցումից եւ մշակութային բազմազանության երթի վրա հարձակումից հետո պարզ էր, որ մարդու իրավունքների երաշխավորման համար անհրաժեշտ էր միջամտություն: Բայց շատ քիչ բան արվեց: Մի քանի ԼԳԲՏ հայեր, հասարակության օգտակար անդամներ ստիպված եղան լքել Հայաստանը անցյալ մայիսին կատարված իրադարձություններից հետո` խուսափելու համար իրենց կյանքին սպառնալիքներից: DIY-ը պայթեցնողները դատապարտվեցին դաստակի ապտակից մի փոքր ծանր պատժով: Գենդերային հավասարության համար աշխատող կազմակերպությունների նկատմամբ վերջերս տեղի ունեցեղ բռնի սպառնալիքները ցույց են տալիս, որ կա ավելի շատ պաշտպանության, այլ ոչ թե հալածանքի կարիք:

Ոստիկանությունը Վարչական իրավախախտումների վերաբերյալ ՀՀ օրենսգրքում նախաձեռնել էր Հոդված 47.7-ը, ինչը սպառնում էր ԼԳԲՏ անձանց քաղաքացիական իրավունքներին եւ ցանկացած այլ անհատի կամ կազմակերպության, եթե նրանք հանրայնորեն քննարկեին ԼԳԲՏ խնդիրները: Թեեւ օրինագիծը հետ կանչվեց, թվում է, որ դա արվեց միայն այն պատճառով, որ շատ վատ էր մշակված եւ արտահայտում էր ոստիկանության նախապաշարմունքային դրդապատճառները: Այն փաստը, որ օրինագծի ձեւակերպումը Ռուսաստանի օրենսդրության ընդօրինակումն է, շատ ավելի մտահոգիչ է, հաշվի առնելով օրենքի ընդունումից հետո այնտեղ ԼԳԲՏ անձանց նկատմամբ կատարվող բռնության մակարդակը: Հիմա, քանի որ Հայաստանը ցանկություն է հայտնել միանալ Ռուսաստանի հետ Մաքսային Միությանը, թվում է, որ իրավիճակը սոսկալի է, եւ որ Ռուսաստանի օրենքների կրկնօրինակման գործընթացը կշարունակվի:

ԱԳԼԱ Նյու-Յորքը եւ սփյուռքի ժողովուրդը մտահոգությամբ նկատում են Հայաստանում աճող մարդու իրավունքների ոտնահարուման դեպքերը: Մենք հիմա խնդրում ենք Կառավարությանը հետեւել իր սեփական Սահմանադրությանը` երաշխավորելով իր բոլոր քաղաքացիների իրավունքները, միջոցներ ձեռնարկել ԼԳԲՏ անձանց դեմ ուղղված ցանկացած օրենքի ընդունման հետագա փորձի դեմ: