Category Archives: News

April 24th: Commemorating 1.5 million Armenian martyrs

April 24 Demonstration 185

Throughout the year, AGLA NY honors both our LGBT and Armenian identitites, but on one day in particular – April 24th – we are called upon to reflect on a particularly tragic part of that heritage: The Armenian Genocide of 1915.

On April 24th, 1915, several hundred Armenian intellectuals and professionals were rounded up during the night, deported to concentration camps in Ayash and Chankari. Many were brutally murdered along the way and virtually all were executed or starved to death within months. Starting with the mass murders of Armenians during the reign of Abdul Hamid in 1896 and the Adana Massacres of 1909, over 2 Million Armenians were masscred by the Ottoman Turks between 1896 and 1923, a crime that today’s Turkish state continues to deny. Billions of dollars in property were expropriated and never returned to the Armenian survivors who scattered all over the world and formed the modern Armenian Diaspora.

Today we also honor the memory of 1.5 million other Christians brutally murdered by the Ottoman regime–half of them Pontic Greeks and the other half Assyrians. Today, we ask everyone who reads this page to bow their heads and observe a moment of silence for those who perished.

Book Reading and Signing with Translator/Writer Christopher Atamian

625442_10151398715549425_853280156_nAGLA NY Member Christopher Atamian will present his recent translation of the book titled The Bois de Vincennes/Vinseni Andaruh by Nigoghos Sarafian. Reception to follow. Free.

Friday March 8, 2013

238 Thompson Street, Room 279

Christopher Atamian is a noted translator, writer, and producer/director living in New York City. He produced the OBIE Award-winning play Trouble in Paradise in 2006 and was included as an invited artist to the 2009 Venice Biennale for his video Desire. His short films and videos have screened throughout the world and he publishes regularly in leading publications such as The Huffington Post and The New York Times. He has written one novel, Speaking French, and translated six books from French and Western Armenian into English, including Nigoghos Sarafian’s The Bois de Vincennes. Christopher has worked in senior-level positions for leading media companies including ABC, Ogilvy Interactive and JP Morgan’s marketing division. He is an alumnus of Harvard University, Columbia Business School and USC Film School and a former Fulbright, Bronfman and Gulbenkian Scholar

Come join us on Saturday, January 12th to celebrate Armenian Christmas!

Come Celebrate the New Year and Armenian Christmas with AGLA NY at our Annual Armenian Christmas Party on Saturday January 12th


This year’s party is being hosted by 2 of our wonderful members who will be opening up their home for the occasion!

When: Saturday January 12th, 8PM

Where: Brooklyn, NY (use RSVP email below to obtain party address)

Please email us at to let us know if you’re coming!

AGLA NY at the 2012 NYC Pride Parade

Historic Petition: Armenians Support LGBT Rights in Armenia

The Armenian Gay and Lesbian Association of New York has sponsored the following historic petition that is co-signed by 20+ leading Armenian cultural figures who have unified their voices to support human rights in Armenia. This is the first time such a petition has been created in support of LGBT human rights in Armenia.

Please sign and share the petition with all your friends, family and allies.

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For Immediate Release
June 26, 2012

Press contact: Nancy Agabian,

The Government of Armenia: Honor the Constitutional Right of Each Citizen

We, the undersigned, write to support democratic and human rights for all in Armenia. We are disturbed by the May 8 firebombing of the gay-friendly bar DIY and the subsequent vandalism of the space. Attacks on the May 21st Cultural Diversity march in Yerevan by a few hundred “neo-fascists,” some wearing swastikas, lead us to fear that the democratic nature of Armenian society is threatened. Though police have done an admirable job of maintaining order over the course of the attacks, the government has not responded directly to the incidents, nor produced a clear message of tolerance for diversity. Some members of the Armenian government have even made statements condoning these attacks, going so far as to claim that such violence against LGBT Armenians is a means of protecting “the national ideology.”

We stand with the United Nations, the United States Embassy, Amnesty International, the Armenian Ombudsman, the European Union and the Council of Europe, in calling for the Armenian government to act in alignment with global human rights values. We call on President Serzh Sargsyan, his administration, members of Parliament, and all local governing leaders to honor the constitutional right of each citizen of the Armenian Republic to be treated with dignity and respect.

Initial signatories include: Nancy Agabian, Shushan Avagyan, Arlene Avakian, Peter Balakian, Anna Barseghian, Eve Beglarian, Eric Bogosian, Chris Bohjalian, Diana Der Hovanessian, Gregory Djanikian, Atom Egoyan, Aris Janigian, TJ Jourian, Nina Katchadourian, David Kherdian, Nancy Kricorian, Micheline Aharonian Marcom, Marc Nichanian, Meline Toumani, Hrag Vartanian

The text of the petition may be found here.

AGLA NY’s Statement In Response to the May 8th Terror Attack in Yerevan

For immediate release
May 17, 2012
Press contact: nancyagabian [at] yahoo [dot] com

The Armenian Gay and Lesbian Association of New York is appalled by the terrorist firebombing of DIY bar on May 8 and the subsequent hate crimes against the establishment this past week. We also condemn the proliferation of verbal, Facebook, Youtube and other online attacks lodged against the queer community of Yerevan. Furthermore, we denounce acts of hate speech and threats against anyone in Armenia deemed different or “threatening to society”, including artists, intellectuals, and other free-thinkers.

Most despicable are the words and actions of Dashnaksutyun MP Artsvik Minasyan, who financially sponsored the bail for one of the two neo-fascist attackers of DIY and who recently deemed their actions “in accordance with national ideology.” In the same interview with Panorama News Agency, Minasyan targeted the manager of DIY, Tsomak Oganesova, stating that “her kind are destroying Armenian society.” Such statements may be used to justify violent acts against hundreds if not thousands of peaceful, law-abiding citizens. To date, there has been no official call from Dashnaksutyun or the Armenian government to investigate Minasyan or to take him to task: this is unacceptable. In the meantime, Minasyan is violating Dashnak philosophy and continues to issue egregiously homophobic and harmful statements under their banner. The Armenian Parliament and Dashnaksutyun should reprimand Minasyan, ask him to resign or remove him from office immediately for inflaming conflict and endangering lives.

Today on May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia, AGLA NY stands in unity with our partnering organizations PINK, the Women’s Resource Center, Queering Yerevan, and others to call for tolerance and a renewed commitment to human rights among individuals and institutions, in Armenia and in the diaspora. Most importantly, to the LGBT community in Armenia who are living under dangerous circumstances, we offer our undying support.

Founded in 1998, the Armenian Gay and Lesbian Association of New York (AGLA NY) provides a space for lesbian, gay, bi and transgender Armenian-Americans, their partners and their allies to come together as a community. It is a forum which fosters our visibility and strengthens our cultural and ethnic ties to the queer communities and Armenian communities to which we each belong. The purpose of AGLA NY is also to inform both the Armenian and American communities about issues of importance to LGBT Armenians and Armenian-Americans, as well as the larger American community. For more information, visit AGLA NY at or email info [at] aglany [dot] org.

AGLA NY Elects New Officers

Dear AGLA NY members and friends,

Please welcome Alex Sarkesian and Michael Yagliyan as the new Co-Presidents of AGLANY!

Alex and Michael have both been active and dedicated members of AGLA NY for the past few years and I am delighted they have both volunteered to lead the organization as it continues to grow and strengthen in the coming year.

If you are interested in getting more involved and helping Alex and Michael in the coming year as active members of our organization, please email Alex and Mike through this form and let them know.

I would like to thank everyone for their support and help over the past two years that I have had the honor of serving as AGLA NY President.

We are planning some great events this year in addition to our participation in the 2011 NYC pride parade and our annual Armenian Christmas party, so be sure you are on our mailing list to get all the updates.