Posted by: kyrgyzlabrys | July 23, 2006

quiet and hot Kyrgyzstan

Roundtable and Speaking with Media On 19th of July there was a large roundtable titled “”Consolidation of vulnerable groups”” held by local LGBT NGO “”Oasis””. The roundtable was mostly about HIV/AIDS prevention and therefore with a lot of participants ranging from those working with street children to injection drug users’ service NGOs. “”Labrys”” was invited as well. The roundtable was meant to discuss LGBT people but it was not announced, therefore came unexpected for some people. Some of the interesting questions asked: 1. so which rights of LGBT people are violated? (“”please, do not be scared of us – we are tolerant””); 2. how soon will there be a pride in Bishkek? Alex and Anna K. were stolen from the roundtable site by media where we had to answer other questions: so how many “”these people”” are there in Kyrgyzstan? what kind of problems are you facing? would not it be easier not to be out if you fear violence? [as if for some people it was actually a choice] The pleasant thing about the interviews was that Alex got to talk about his identity and how the society reacts to gender variance. It was shown on TRK “”Mir”” which is all-CIS channel, we are now requesting them to make a copy of the video for us. Alex accepted to American University – Central Asia (www.auca.kg) as openly transgender, he got a scholarship to attend the university and the financial aid committee took into account the situation in his home (father’s threats to kill him) and also that he was expelled from a different university despite being “”A”” student (the grounds was: “”we do not need perverts like you””, two female students were also expelled for associating with Alex). Two of LAbrys staff members to travel to OutGames in Montreal Sasha Kim, Transgender Project Coordinator, and Anna Kirey, Elf Project Coordinator (responsible for research, working with media and a little bit for the Labrys shelter) will present Labrys’ work at a Conference held during OutGames in Montreal. Both are very excited about the trip.

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