GLENDALE—The Armenian Youth Federation – Western Region’s United Human Rights Council (AYF UHRC) is hosting a screening and discussion of Gagik Ghazareh’s documentary ‘Listen to Me: Untold Stories Beyond Hatred’, a documentary about Armenia’s LGBT community, on Sunday, December 18 at 5pm at the Glendale Youth Center at 211 West Chestnut St. Glendale, California 91204. The event is co-sponsored by the Gay and Lesbian Armenian Society (GALAS).
The 75-minute documentary film — produced by PINK Armenia with support from the United States Embassy in Yerevan — follows the lives of ten LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) people in Armenia in order to tell the stories of those whose voices are not heard and to change the image of LGBT people in Armenia. The film is in Armenian with English subtitles. Read an in-depth review of the film in the Armenian Weekly.
The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 5pm, film begins promptly at 5:30pm, followed by a discussion at 7pm. Address and more information can be found on the Facebook event page.
“With successful screenings in both Armenia and France, it’s exciting and important that AYF will be partnering with GALAS to host the first screening in Los Angeles — let alone in the United States. This is an inclusive space that will bring out many different groups within the Armenian community and I find it is so incredibly valuable for everyone to be present and support,” said Christina Mehranbod, current chairperson of the AYF UHRC.
The film screening is a part of the official launch of the AYF UHRC’s “Project Ser” (in Armenian, ‘Ser’ means both love and gender), a campaign to raise awareness about gender issues, sexuality, and LGBT issues, and strives to make gender equality and inclusivity a reality and a practice in communities and organizing spaces.
The discussion portion will focus on Armenia’s LGBT community and also highlight the various intersectionalities between contemporary issues these communities face in locally and globally. It will be facilitated by Kyle Khandikian, who is a PINK Armenia staff member, GALAS board member, Hye-Phen Collective member and AYF UHRC member.
“We are very excited to bring this documentary to Los Angeles with AYF. LGBT people are and have always been a part of our communities and Armenia, and to have such a diverse cross section of our community being represented for this event with GALAS and PINK Armenia is very exciting. It is up to all of us to tackle homophobia and transphobia everywhere, and we are starting together by listening to LGBT Armenians with this film,” explained Khandikian.
The screening is part of a series of panels, film screenings, and other conversations hosted by the AYF UHRC to engage the Armenian-American community with topics not often extensively addressed. Earlier this year, the documentary Charles Garry: Streetfighter in the Courtroom was screened, followed by a discussion about intersections between African- and Armenian-American experiences, today’s systematic anti-Blackness in the United States, and oppression of Armenian citizens in the Republic of Turkey.
The United Human Rights Council (UHRC) is a committee of the Armenian Youth Federation. By means of action on a grassroots level, the UHRC works towards exposing and correcting human rights violations of governments worldwide, and aims to foster dialogue and collaboration between peoples who share this common vision.
Founded in 1933 with organizational structures in over 17 regions around the world and a legacy of over eighty years of community involvement, the Armenian Youth Federation is the largest and most influential Armenian-American youth organization in the world, working to advance the social, political, educational and cultural awareness of Armenian youth.