The courageous LGBT people of Love and Solidarity movement: Mkhitar Yeritsyan

Seeing Mkhitar Yeritsyan’s transgender woman friend, several boys approached and: “They say: oh my lord, who the hell is this?! They go here and there for whole day long, do anything you can imagine under walls, and today they have come here”. 22-year-old Mkhitar was afraid to take part in protests in the beginning. He thought the director would fire him. His friends persuaded him and they went into the street together.

Mkhitar with his friend

They blocked Mashtots Avenue, shouting “Serge, leave”, went down and blocked Abovyan Street, Tumanyan Street, where once: “I was standing alone. The driver shouted that there was a product, which was being spoiled. I told him: show me the product, if it is being spoiled, I will let you pass. But he didn’t agree. And I said: well, as you don’t show it, you can leave your car here and take it on foot. He shouted at me, but we did not let him go. “

But he was not courageous at first. He tried not to deal with others at the Square of France. “We sat separately with LGBT friends. We were afraid to talk to someone, because we knew if they got to know we were from the LGBT community, there might be problems. “

 The situation changed,  when other men involved in the incident with a transgender woman and did not let them continue insulting. “Several boys called them aside. They said։ these people are standing by our side today, but not those who are sleeping now. “

After that they didn’t separate. In the evening they lit a fire, talked, sang, and were glad. “People saw we were from the LGBT community, but they were indiferent about that fact. We were all united.”

In the evening they lit a fire with everybody

Mkhitar says, that one of the reasons for going out to the street was that there was a situation in the country that people and he also had to work for more than 12 hours, so they could survive. But besides that, he struggled for not being persecuted because of his sexual orientation in the future.“I hoped that if there is any change, it will also be for our community.” He tells us that he has quarreled with other coworkers about his clothes, and he was about to quit his job, and when he had dyed his hair, he had to deceive about that not to have problems.

Though he in unemployed after the change of the authorities, because the cafe where he used to work,  had closed, but he did not get despaired, as: “Now people treat [homosexuals] more tolerant, they take it easy, do not make replicas behind our back, even when I apply for job, they do not pay attention if my hair is dyed or not.”

He remembers that during the protests several women complained about the streets being blocked. “I told them: do you like the fact that you work 14 hours instead of 8? “ And when he was saying that, he saw the director look at Mkhitar, smile and pass.

Hovhannes Ishkhanyan