“You better die, than live in our house with this reputation”. Sexual minorities are being expelled from their homes

HomelessYouthx400_ADVOCATE_0After walking 20km Anush ended up in Yerevan to spend the night in a friend’s house, since she was banished by the family after coming out as that she likes girls.

The mother is carrying her child in the uterus for 9 months, then the baby is being separated from her navel, then she is lovingly bringing the baby up, and then she is choosing the prejudiced tradition over the love towards her child.

According to a survey conducted by “PlanetRomeo” (gay-orientated website) in cooperation with the University of Mainz in 2014, 13 million gays were banned from their families, which is 4,5 times more than the whole population of Armenia, and in fact these figures refer only to men homosexuals.

Anush, Karen and Edgar (all the names are changed by their request) were banned from their homes when the family found out about their sexual orientation.

Unlike Anush and Edgar, who managed to find refuge in their friends’ houses, Karen spent several nights outside, since everybody turned away from him.

Karen was discovered to be gay in the military commission. During the mobilization he told the doctor that he was gay. “Cheer up!” – said the doctor, hugged him and promised not to tell anyone. A few days later Karen’s father was called to the military commission and was told that his son is gay.

“Dad thought that I had been lying” – says Karen – “He asked why I said so, I remained silent and he realized that I didn’t lie, he just didn’t want to believe the truth. He said that he knew I lied, because I didn’t want to go to the army”.

Karen is being locked out of the house, friends and relatives are staying away from their home, parents are constantly watching him. His mother notices that Karen is talking to someone on a social network and she starts arguing.

“My mother asked: ‘Who you are talking to?’, I answered: ‘No one’. That night we had a tough fight, I was told: ‘You better die than have a place in this world with your reputation’. And I decided that it’s better for me to leave home.” – suppressing his excitement Karen remembers the day he left his family. “They were calling and arguing with me. And I made it clear that ‘I’m gay and if you are not accepting me this way then I’m leaving. They said: ‘don’t you ever come back, this is not your house anymore, and we don’t have a son’ ”.

Parents are not the only reason they abandon their houses for. Edgar is bisexual and his brothers found it out from his friend. “Are you gay? So don’t come home” – said Edgar’s brother right after receiving the news.

“My two brothers attacked me and beat me so hard that I had bruises all over my body” – says Edgar, – “They said that I’m useless, a looser and a faggot and I should have been their sister, not brother, they threatened to kill me”.

Edgar leaves home and his parents try to settle the situation. They call him and ask to come back home, but Edgar says they think that brothers beat him through his fault. “Of course it’s ok that they responded that way: ‘you allowed it’ ” – Edgar recalls his parents.

In Anush’s family only her sister is ok with her sexual orientation. “I have a lot of gay friends. I love you just the way you are” – Anush was surprised by the sister.

“Yes, mom, your daughter is lesbian” – said bisexual Anush, protecting a girl she loved during the argument with her mother. Anush’s mother insulted that girl because she helped Anush find a job in a pub.

“My family thought that the pub was a brothel, they didn’t want me to work there” – Anush says. “They locked me up in my room so that I do not go to work. I jumped out the window and then tried to get home to take my clothes, and my mom pushed me and said: ‘Go away!’ ”.

At night Anush is walking to Yerevan, random cars are slowing down and making remarks until she gets to friend’s house.

Anush and Edgar returned to their families and started dating persons of the opposite sex, putting an end to the conversations about their sexual orientation.

Karen restored relations with the family when he found a job and helped them with the money, however he cannot go back home since he faces the dislike by surrounding people.

“I went home for New Year. When the guests came and saw me, they were shocked that I was there. Nobody wished me happy New Year or even said hello”.

Karen tells that relatives and neighbors discourage everyone from visiting their house because he was at home.

Hovhannes Ishkanyan

Translated by Piruza Manukyan