Dealing with Difference: Nancy Agabian and Nelli Sargsyan-Pittman present creative and documentary approaches to LGBT Armenian Issues

Join us for a fascinating lecture series from two of our scholar-members at the LGBT Center Room 310 on Friday, April 5th at 7:30pm. No tickets needed.

RSVP and get more details on Facebook

In May of last year in Yerevan, two self-identified neo-fascist youths firebombed the gay-friendly bar DIY, and a mob of young protesters attacked a peaceful diversity march several weeks later. Many in the Armenian-American community were dismayed by these acts of hatred in their homeland, but others expressed homophobic sentiments — as evidenced by articles and online comments. This event will shed light on some of the roots, causes and effects of homophobia and intolerance towards difference in both Armenia and its diaspora. This will hopefully start a reflective conversation on how to effect positive change in both these spheres.

Nancy Agabian is an author, performer and teacher. Her memoir, Me as her again, nominated for a Lambda Literary Award and a William Saroyan International Writing Prize, casts her queer coming-of age within her Armenian-American family history. A Fulbright scholar to Armenia from 2006 to 2007, she is currently working on a creative nonfiction book about the intersections of family, tradition, nationalism and corruption in Post Soviet Armenia. She will read and discuss excerpts related to LGBT issues and tolerance from this work-in-progress.

Nelli Sargsyan-Pittman, a native of Yerevan, Armenia, is currently a PhD candidate in Anthropology at the State University of New York at Albany. She is currently completing her dissertation, which examines translocally-oriented Armenian queer artistic activism and the diverse ways in which Armenian men and women negotiate their ethnic and sexual difference in the American Armenian diaspora. Nelli will present some of her findings on gay, lesbian, and queer experiences in the US Armenian diaspora by reading and discussing excerpts from the interviews which she conducted with her research participants.

Noted writer, translator and filmmaker Christopher Atamian will moderate the discussion. Atamian has served as President of AGLA NY in 2007 and 2008 and currently sits on its Board of Trustees.

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