Category Archives: Events

Join AGLA NY for the 2015 NYC Pride March

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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).“

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:

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


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Return to Asbury 2013 – August 2-4th – Armenian Kef Weekend at the Beach!

AGLA NY is proud to be a co-sponsor of the 2013 Return to Asbury – Armenian KEF Weekend!


After 40 years, Armenians will be making their second appearance in mass in Asbury!
For Armenians on the East Coast in the 1950s and 60s, Asbury Park, New Jersey was THE place to come together on summer weekends. Days were spent on the beach and in the water, and at night everyone would gather at places called the Hye Hotel, the Van Hotel, the Sunset Lounge and the Hye-Da-Way kef room…crowds lining the sidewalks, late night hook-ups, and the sounds of oud and doumbeg filling the air.
With Return to Asbury, we’re bringing back this summer tradition — in perfect symmetry with the historic beach town of Asbury Park, which is currently in the midst of its own exciting rebirth!
Friday, August 2nd
Start the weekend off at the Watermark Lounge on Asbury Park’s boardwalk, 6PM+
Saturday, August 3rd
Join us for a day at the 7th Avenue Beach in Asbury Park from noon onward. Entry is $6 at gate.
Tavloo tournament at 11 AM at Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel. RSVP required to secure sufficient space.
KEF PARTY – 8PM to 1AM. KEF Style party featuring live Armenian music and mezze at the historic Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel. Music by: The Artsakh Band, Michael Gostanian Ensemble, & DJ Robbie
Tickets $50 until July 15, $65 until August 4, $85 after.
Tickets can be purchased at

Because of restrictions with the venues, tickets cannot be sold at the door. Please plan ahead! 

For hotel information, please contact:
Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel
1401 Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ
(732) 776-6700

Quote “KEF” for $219/night (two-night stay)

Have a story or photo to share from the past? Please submit them at

This event is sponsored by the ASA.
Additionally, we thank the following organizations for their support:

AGBU YP Philadelphia • AGLA NY • ARMNET-NY • ARMNET-DC • AYF • ACYOA Philadelphia • Knights of Vartan • SOAR • Fund for Armenian Relief

Event proceeds to benefit Camp Haiastan, Camp Nubar & St. Vartan Camp.

First Annual AGLA NY Benefit a Smash Success!


Some thirty guests came together on May 23rd at the home of Veken Gueyekian and Hrag Vartanian in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to celebrate Armenian gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered unity and to raise money for specific organizational goals.

Specifically, the benefit targeted three areas, Chairman and AGLA NY board member Christopher Atamian outlined: “We’re beginning a small ‘Emergency Fund’ to help LGBT people in need both in the Republic of Armenia and the diaspora—for example to help rebuild a bar like DIY which was firebombed in a recent hate crime, or to help with legal fees for LGBT people in need.” A second aim was simply to raise funds to help with the everyday expenses of running the organization and the many meetings, conferences and events such as New York’s PRIDE March that it participates in. One of the night’s guest speakers Maria Mähl, a Human Rights Advocate who currently works at the UN on women’s security and peace building and SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) rights,  commented on the importance of the work that AGLA NY does: “It is especially important now given the backlash against LGBT people that we have seen of late.”

A third and very exciting goal of the benefit was the creation of the Geroge Stambolian Memorial Scholarship for students for LGBT students or those of Armenian origin.  Stambolian was a beloved professor of French literature at Wellesley College, one of the founders of LGBT Literature and the editor of the famed Men on Men writing series. Stambolian passed away from AIDS in 1991. The guests were truly lucky to have one of Stambolian’s own former students Nancy Agabian talk affectionately about him: “[He was] aware of and appreciated the paradoxes of life and of literature…[he] embodied them and worked for them in a meaningful way.”  Agabian read two excerpts from her own books where she mentions Stambolian: Princess Freak and Me As Her Again.

Atamian was upbeat about the event, which raised close to $2,000: “There are so many established benefits already in New York and in the Armenian community….but everyone reacted beautifully and understood the importance of our organization and its activities.” The organization’s board members plan to build on this success: “Every year we’ll build on the previous one,” Gueyekian noted, “It’s a first very important step.”

Particularly for Armenian LGBT youth and community members who sometimes feel ostracized in a conservative community, AGLA NY provides a lifeline of hope and friendship to its members and allies. From its modest beginnings in 1998, AGLA NY continues to grow. Anyone interested in making a tax-deductible donation to the organization as a whole or to any of its specific programs—such as the emergency Fund or the Stambolian Scholarship—can do so at or by contacting a board member directly.


March with AGLA NY in the 2013 NYC Pride Parade

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AGLA NY at the 2012 Pride Parade

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 meeting on 38th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues at 12:30pm – specifically, we are in section 8 / group 8. 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 info [at]

You can also RSVP to the Facebook event as well – and again, all are welcome to attend!

Announcing the 1st AGLA NY Benefit Fundraiser

Thursday, May 23, 2013
7 – 10 pm

22 N. 6th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11249

Eventbrite - AGLA NY Annual Benefit

Keynote speakers: Nancy Agabian and Maria Mähl
Appetizers: (Armenian-style) mezze and pomegranate martinis will be served
A silent auction: featuring art and books by prominent Armenian talents

The primary goals of our first benefit event will be to establish an emergency fund to help LGBT people in need in Armenia and the diaspora, and to continue to support AGLA-NY’s activities for the following year. Notably, a portion of the funds raised will be used to establish the George Stambolian Memorial Scholarship for LGBT students or those of Armenian descent.


George Stambolian was a scholar of French literature and became an early proponent of LGBT literature in academia and within the U.S. at large. Born in 1937 to an Armenian American family in Racine, Wisconsin, he attended Dartmouth College, then earned his PhD from the University of Wisconsin.  Soon after, he become an expert and beloved professor of French literature at Wellesley College, and a noted figure in the literary scene of New York City, where he lived.  In the late 1980s and early 90s, he edited the groundbreaking anthology series Men on Men and helped to establish LGBT literature as a genre and field of study during the gay rights movement.  Stambolian was known for his quick wit, wry sense of humor and his remarkable humility.  Like many in his generation, his life was cut short by AIDS, in 1991.  AGLA-NY honors his legacy by establishing a scholarship in his memory.

Nancy Agabian is an author and a professor at NYU and Queens College. Her memoir, Me as her again, was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award and a William Saroyan International Writing Prize.  Agabian has served as co-President of AGLA NY in 2005 and 2006 and currently sits on its Board of Trustees.  She was a student of George Stambolian at Wellesley College and will speak about his legacy.

Maria Mähl is a Human Rights Advocate who currently works at the UN on women’s security and peace building and SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) rights.

The general public may RSVP at or send checks payable to AGLA-NY, c/o GOS, 181 N. 11th Street, Suite 302, Brooklyn, NY 11211.

Since 1998, AGLA NY has been providing space for lesbian, gay, bi, and transgender Armenian Americans, their partners, and their allies to come together as a community. The forum to network fosters their visibility and strengthens their cultural and ethnic ties to queer and Armenian communities. We seek to inform these communities, as well as the general public, about issues of importance to LGBT Armenians.

AGLA Bowling Night! Sunday March 24


Hey everyone! Join AGLA at the lanes as we go bowling on Sunday, March 24 6-8PM

RSVP and get the details on Facebook

New members and old members alike are welcome to join us, socialize, and throw for strikes at this gathering, and we are hoping to see all of you there. Please feel free to invite your friends!

The cost for bowling will be $22/person for the lane cost and shoes. Food and drinks are also available at Bowlmor Lanes.

Looking forward to seeing who can bowl a perfect yerek hariur (300)!