“DiverCity” Social-Cultural, Human Rights Defender NGO celebrating #IDAHOBIT2022 within the framework of the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia on May 17 and on the occasion of the #PrideMonth, published a series of podcasts combined in #5PrideStories.
The main aim of #IDAHOBIT is to raise the visibility of LGBTQ+ people.
DCNGO has joined the global celebration since its establishment and in 2021, we published a video which is available here.
The five series of #5PrideStories was created with the support of ECOM (The Eurasian Coalition on Health, Rights, Gender and Sexual Diversity), with the financial support of the Robert Carr civil society Networks Fund (CSF). It is dedicated to the fight against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia #IDAHOBIT2022.
You are listening to the “The Voice of Diversity” media, which released the fifth podcast of the #5PrideStories chain. It hosted Goga-Emmy Karapetyan who is a trans person.
Being trans and facing many problems, Goga has managed to become an independent cook and a blogger.
Goga is talking about their student life when they had been discriminated against and abused a lot. For instance, the following case happened in the institution where they studied. Their fellow students started spreading their transformed pictures and everyone learnt about their trans identity. After the incident, they turned to the director of the institution who discriminated against them too.
“Thanks to LGBTQ+ community-based NGOs, I became more aware of my rights and possessed them. The principal wanted to drop me from the school just because I am a transgender person. When I went to the director and faced such an attitude I spoke up about my rights, saying that if you fire me, I will go to court and inform them that you violated my right to receive education. In response to my position, the director said that I could stay and study like others, but if there were any incidents outside the school, he would not be responsible for them. After such and other incidents, I can confidently say that being aware and informed is a guarantee to be protected.”
Goga is pursuing their career as a cook mainly on social media platforms through blogging. Goga says that food blogging is also a form of expression and people should realise that trans people can and do other jobs apart from sex work.
Talking about their dreams, Goga says. “When I finish the sex transition I will return to my career as a cook. I will open a small shop where I will serve newly created Armenian sweets and I hope to be able to sell them because ‘people usually do not buy anything from the hands of trans people or eat the prepared food’. You know, there is such discriminatory attitude towards trans people.”
Based on their experience, Goga advises to be honest firstly with ourselves then with our families. We should try to explain to our parents what we feel and if it does not work, we can always turn to LGBTQ+ community-based NGOs. They also emphasize the essence of the activity and work of such NGOs. They help not to feel alone.