‘You learn to hide your identity’: being queer in the Armenian army

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08/08/2023

While military service is mandatory in Armenia, the prospect comes with many dangers for queer Armenians. Faced with a system that labels them mentally ill while both denying and mocking their existence, there appears to be no easy way through. For Artak Adam, the threat of military service loomed heavy as they approached their 18th birthday. Being queer, Artak knew what their options were: being labelled mentally ill on account of their identity and forcibly exempted, being subjected to discrimination and violence within the armed forces, or hiding their identity and living in fear of being outed.

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