The intersection of Queerness and Armenianness
         within familial and communal networks


     THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 2018 - 7:30PM  
415 E. Broadway
      Glendale, CA 91205

For more information, call (818) 241-0611 or emal     

  Diaspora as a permanent phenomenon and Los Angeles as host to one of the largest and mostheterogeneous Armenian diasporic communities provide a fascinating backdrop for an expansiveillustration on identity negotiation, family units, and community networks. Identity as a markercannot be compartmentalized; parts of oneself are not divided into segments, but ratherexperienced as a complete whole made up of many ingredients. What happens when people arenot encouraged to accept their personal identity in all its diversity? What choices are made whenone ingredient of their identity conflicts with another? This study discusses the struggles enduredand strategies employed by Los Angeles lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBQ) Armenians innegotiating and reconciling their multiple identities by constantly privileging then covering oneover the other. The research indicates that LGBQ Armenians use distinct disclosure strategies inapproaching coming out with their family and community members, not only to belong in theseheteronormative spaces, but also to maintain coexisting relationships. This project employsqualitative research methods and is based on a series of interviews with LGBQ Armenian adultsaged 21-51 from Los Angeles, consisting of questions relating to their ethnic and sexual identity,familial relations, and community involvement. This talk will cover several emerging themesfrom the dissertation research findings: on negotiating identities, self-identifying ethnically,Genocide as an identity marker, shame culture, coming out, familial relationships pre- and post-disclosure, modes for resolution, reasons for antipathy, and conclude with a discussion on thesignificance of familial support and community inclusivity.


ROSIE VARTYTER AROUSH has a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from the Universityof California, Los Angeles, where she emphasized in Armenian Studies with a concentration inGender & Sexuality Studies. She received her B.A. in Sociology and International Studies fromthe University of California, Irvine. Her dissertation research investigates the role of the familyand the impact of the Los Angeles diasporic community on the experiences of lesbian, gay,bisexual, and queer Armenians while exploring the struggles endured and strategies employed inthe negotiation of their identities. LGBQ Armenians have yet to be directly represented withinthe discourses of either LGBTQ Studies or Armenian Studies. As a pioneer in bridging these twofields, her research eliminates the current gap and promotes the growing body of knowledge inGender & Sexuality Studies by adding Armenian to the representation of groups studied withinthe field.