Years ago, I was watching a video where some LGBT people were marching. And a group of guys hindered that march. They were dancing and singing national dances and songs. I was so happy with the fact and I was thinking – how nice that the Armenian men preserve our national values.

I have a friend, my closest friend, with whom I have been friends for eight years. He came out to me as gay. That was a shock to me, and I started to laugh at that shocking moment. I was laughing and laughing, and I could not look at his face. I then turned, looked at his face, and understood that my laughter was not right at that moment.

I remembered that he was telling stories from his personal life, but he never showed a picture or said a name, and I did not see those people.

That was the time I questioned myself, why I didn’t see those people if I’m best friends with him? That is to say, I’ve heard stories, the real side of which is a bit different. The biggest thing I felt at that moment was that I was a traitor. Would you ask why I am a traitor? Because I left him alone, I wasn’t able to be open enough for him to tell me all those stories thoroughly.

Then I decided to watch that video again, which made me feel good some time ago.  I was watching and watching, and it was so sad. Tradition, Armenian girl, Armenian boy, Armenian genes, the Armenian question, I don’t know what else – that was all so ridiculous, those were such pointless and meaningless words that did not lead anywhere. What did it mean? Nothing, nothing that had any value.

And that’s when I realized that the most important thing in this life is a person, who is possibly someone’s friend.

This material was made possible through the support from the “Allies in Action” program by COC Netherlands and ILGA-Europe.