The courageous LGBT people of Love and Solidarity movement: Rim Sardaryan

Rim Sardaryan injured her leg during the protests. Staying home for two days, she continued to struggle online, and as she did not like the fact that only men spoke on the platform and applied to people calling them only by brothers, she tried to bring her opinion to the platform through social networks. “I wrote to all my acquaintances, I commented all the places, I tagged whom I could.”

The 24-year-old activist says there were more women than men in the areas where she struggled, and she noticed, that “It was easy to persuade the men. We blocked the street with the girls, the driver came and talked with a boy: bro, opened the street, I’ve got a place to go. After a few minutes of talking, he tells us:guys, open the street, he has to go for a work urgently. We say: stop for a moment, why did you suppose you might come and tell us “open the street?”

There were more women in the areas where Rim struggled

Rim joined the struggle on April 16, before that she had not been in Yerevan. When she understands that the movement is man-centered, “For example, when a woman wants to block the street with a bench, a boy approaches and says: sister, let me block it myself, or boys gather and make a decision and then come and say, we are going to do this thing”, with her girlfriends, a group of 10 people, they gather and make activities and not to be caught by the police: “We blocked the whole crossroad so that the policemen could not get closer by car. It was staying blocked until they ran towards us, and as soon as we had seen it, we ran away, we went and blocked another crossroad. During that time people joined us. They were keeping blocked, while we ran and blocked the other crossroad.”

On the first days, when few people believed in the success of the movement, the coordinator of the LGBTI shelter initiative, Rim Sardaryan, was surprised that so many people from LGBT community participate, and furthermore in the frontline, because: “You know that there may be more pressure on you, you may be taken to the police station, be beaten for blocking the street, and get an extra hit, because you are different, for example a fag. But when I saw that many LGBT people there, I said: what a pleasure?!”

Rim was surprised that there were many LGBT people

Rim has always heard comments and replicas on her look from aside and fell into awkward situations: “For instance, I go to toilet, girls look at me strangely or say that the boys’ toilet is there and this a the girls’ one or they speak behind my back: was this a girl, or a boy? “But she mentions, that it was spoken bad behind her back only once during the protests, one person asked another one in whisper: “Is this a girl or a boy?” The other replied: “How the circumstances lay, as it is wanted.”They were three boys, 14-15 years old. “

Nevertheless she was afraid that the atmosphere of solidarity with the society could aspire: “During the protests, I saw many different people around, and I was glad that we were standing together for the same purpose, but I was afraid that tomorrow these people will reject LGBT people, me, my friends. But we built the things with each other at that moment. I’d like something to be changed in people, and I’d like them not to reject me, cause we have reached a result together. “

      The day, when the movement was name The revolution of Love and Solidarity

Finally, Rim’s online struggle gave its result, on April 18, a woman made a speech on the platform in the square: “I am watching a livestream in the evening, and [a member of the”Reject Serzh “initiative] Maria Karapetyan appears. She starts talking about women’s involvement and applies to women in the movement by sisters, she also speaks on the involvement of different groups, how important it is, how happy she is that different groups are involved. And I scream, I run in the house. And the inmates don’t understand what’s going on, they are interested in what has happened, has Serzh resigned, has Baghramyan 26 been captured? I say: noh, noha girl has spoken, she has talked about girls.”

A few days later, a member of Yelq party faction at Yerevan Council of Elders Zara Batoyan made a speech on the platform, saying that a person should be the highest value in Armenia regardless of sexual orientation. “I was at the republic square at that time, and felt happy when I got to know she  had said something like that. For the first time dozens of thousands of people are gathered in the republic square, and the word sexual orientation is pronounced. That was also a kind of small victory.”

Rim’s post after Zara Batoyan’s speech, when speaking on involvement, Batoyan mentioned sexual orientation too


Hovhannes Ishkhanyan