“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 is introducing to you the 4th episode of the #5PrideStories podcast chain. It hosts by Yulya Nikoli who is a non-binary person.
Yulya has a great deal of experience in youth work field. Particularly as a young worker she cooperated with LGBTQ+ community, girls and women.
Yulya started her career path when she noticed the need. In her words, she had always surrounded herself with compassionate and supporting people who did not consider her foreign and strange, did not oppress or limit her.
-There was a moment when I felt like having a responsibility to give certain things to my community apart from taking from it. I felt like taking care of my community and becoming a part of it more than I was before. I was thinking, if not me then who?
Yulya is a young person living in a region. She says that it is indeed more difficult to be an LGBTQ+ person in the region. Those people who could no longer live in the closet moved to Yerevan.
-Unfortunately, it is a huge problem for the regions to not have a visible model. I mean LGBTQ+ people who are visible so that there is awareness in the society that people are diverse. And that is exactly how it should be, which is very natural.
On the other hand, Yuliya is presenting her worries too that concern the gaps in the educational system:
– Since we do not have an appropriate educational institution or programs that train or retrain youth workers, as a youth worker I am working with the LGBTQ+ community. I have initially learnt, studied and acquired skills and abilities by myself. As a result, I have started to understand and take into account many things. Due to my previous job, I had to work with the gay community, and I was worried about whether I would be bale to take an equal-to-equal approach. But over time, I learnt all that through sensitivity further developing myself as a youth worker.
Presenting her experience as a young employee who lives in a region, Yulya says that there undoubtedly are negative comments and misguided views but she also notices the positive public interest citing that even if we do not take into account her sexual orientation and gender identity, she is a struggle in all her appearance and character.
-I think that only due to mutual encouragement and assistance will the LGBTQ+ community become stronger since the external environment is very unstable. In recent years, much hatred has accumulated in the society. “I do not want that negative balloon to burst towards our vulnerable community”, says Yuliya. She believes that it is possible to be as we are, be honest first and foremost with ourselves which is the key to respecting and recognizing identities. She, of course, uses resources – mind, time, money, both physical and mental space and on the other hand, she adds that even when people are ready to listen, empathize or help, in any case it should never be at the expense of personal resources.