There are numerous cases of LBQ (lesbian, bisexual, queer) and trans women’s human rights violations that are recorded on an annual basis in Armenia. 2021 was no exception, during which a large number of such violations were observed. These violations were carried out by several social groups or state bodies, in particular, family, educational institutions, service sector workers and the police.
Cases of domestic violence were mainly accompanied with psychological pressure and physical violence. These violent acts were linked to the noticeable change in the appearance and presentation of homosexual and bisexual women, for example, their hair and clothing. Many women were threatened when their parents found out about their same-sex relationships, where the parents tried to influence their child’s sexual orientation by threatening to kick them out of the house or refrain from paying their tuition fees and ultimately deprive them from accessing education.
In many cases, parents and even relatives have restricted the victims’ freedom by depriving them of means of communication, such as confiscating their mobile phones, blocking access to the internet, passports, and sometimes even clothing. They have tried to isolate and restrict these women from communicating with their friends. As a result, they either attempted suicide or had to flee their homes, often having to move to other cities to avoid persecution. There have also been cases of conversion therapy where parents considered their daughter’s sexual orientation as a disease or a disorder and tried to “correct” their sexual orientation through people presenting themselves as psychologists or doctors. This was followed by the sexual harassment of these homosexual women by the specialists.
Violations on the basis of discrimination against homosexual and bisexual women have also taken place in educational institutions, especially in schools. These women received such treatment not only from the students, but also from the school administration. In one case, after being subjected to violence, the person who applied to the school administration’s mediation was treated indifferently by the latter, which directly violated their rights.
Discriminatory behavior against trans women was reported as well, particularly in shops where employees refused to serve trans people. Similar acts were also reported when dealing with the police, where police officers bullied victims and refused to help them at the incident scene. Trans women were also harassed by their neighbors who broke into their homes and attacked them.
Some violations against LBQ and trans women that took place in 2019 and 2020 were only reported to the organization earlier this year. They were mainly of the same nature as the above-mentioned cases, but sometimes they were accompanied by death threats from the parents towards their children. One of the most significant cases of this period involved a trans woman who was falsely accused of theft by the police, which led to her arrest without actually committing a crime.
Violations against LBQ and trans women remain concealed and invisible in most cases․They are often not reported, or discussed, and therefore appropriate solutions are not offered. This is mainly due to family pressure, restrictions on freedom of speech, discriminatory attitude of society. It is important to note that even when these violations are voiced, the victims are despised, bullied and abused. The existence of the above-mentioned serious and dangerous cases is a great threat for LBQ and trans women, it is necessary to raise the level of awareness about this problem and ultimately prevent such cases.