Azad Sparks: Inclusive Armenian Organizing with Carene Mekertichyan

Carene Mekertichyan is an artist, organizer, educator in Los Angeles. She organizes people for intersectional justice in various arts spaces and online through her platform on Instagram. She is one of the co-founders of Yerazad coalition, an action coalition dedicated to Armenian liberation and building transnational solidarity. Inspired by Carene’s efforts to build inclusivity in the Armenian community, I sat down with her to learn more about her activism, organizing work, and Armenian experience.

26 October 2022 | Araxie Cass

Connecting Homeland and Diaspora through Learning, Culture, and Friendship

Narek Shamamyan is the founder of the first queer-friendly Armenian language school. A+ Academy is based in Yerevan and connects diasporans around the world with teachers in Armenia, building transnational community through learning.

24 May 2022 | Kristin Anahit Cass

The Next Chapter

When I was accepted into my graduate program, the first person I called was my mom. She had told me I was crazy when I got an email from the school inviting me to apply to the program and immediately dismissed it as spam. I thought, why would this program be reaching out to me? […]

26 April 2022 | Gareen Simone

Sorry, Bro: The queer Armenian Rom-Com we didn’t know we needed

Literature and time walk hand in hand. We’ve seen cultures grow and thrive through writings, and most of the time, we forget that without authors “ahead of their time” many would not have had the courage to do what their favorite book characters did in similar situations. However, a reader has to find a certain […]

07 February 2022 | Paula Kjdrian

Aram Krikorian on Activism, Intersectionality, and Their Book Ճանապարը (The Road)

Aram Krikorian’s intersectionalities run deep. Aram is a nonbinary queer artivist based in Berkeley, California. They are Armenian, Palestinian, French Canadian and American. Using their unique lens and background, Aram creates artwork that connects directly with public activism. Though Aram never imagined they could be a public artist, over the past few years, they have […]

28 December 2021 | Alexa Gris

The Red Painting

by Paula Kjdrian Tonight  I am just another slut,  only in white.  A pandora’s box, an attempt to see if my purity is a hoax. Tonight  I will promise my eternity,  my children, my body.  He will promise his love to me only if I meet what he expects of me.  Tonight  I will lay […]

16 November 2021 | Paula Kjdrian

A Letter to an Old Friend

by Alexa Gris Thinking about you happens often, without my permission, but it happens.  I don’t want to miss you, but sometimes I do. I don’t want to hate you, but most of the time, I do. Ten years later, why do you still take up so much space in my mind after taking what […]

10 October 2021 | Alexa Gris

I remember that girl

By Maria Kjdrian  Content Warning: sexual assault, childhood trauma I remember that child, that happy, go-lucky child. I have pictures of her in my album. Yes, I do remember her. But weirdly, I can’t seem to remember being her.  Why is it so difficult for me to recollect all the happy moments and fun experiences […]

25 August 2021 | Maria Kjdrian

Queer Armenian Voices: Hagop Najarian

The relationship between Armenian parents and their LGBTQ+ children often ends with a strained relationship or complete loss of family.  Armenian parents and families fear what they don’t know, or what the community deems “unnatural.” Instead, they’d rather hide the truth from themselves and friends by denying the “queer” part of their child.  I gather […]

30 July 2021 | Azad Archives

Reflections on being a Queer Armenian

By: Alexandria Kazandjian To openly say I am a queer Armenian is a privilege I never thought I would have. I have gone from feeling outcast from my community for not speaking Armenian to coming out directly to the Armenian community as a nonbinary lesbian. Understanding identity, whether it be related to ethnicity, gender, or […]

07 July 2021 | Azad Archives