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Do Not Spin Our History: An Open Letter to Fresno Unified School Board President Brooke Ashjian

 

Mr. Ashjian,

When I read what you said during the Fresno Unified School Board meeting on Aug. 23, I was appalled. I am Armenian, and the grandson of Armenian Genocide survivors. I am also an LGBT activist, whom you equated, in your closing statement, with the Ottoman Empire and the perpetrators of the crime of genocide.

You said that you “are being attacked, vilified, labeled, and accused by people who know nothing about [you], [your] personal history or [your] beliefs.” It is true, I do not know you. But do you know any LGBT people? Do you know any LGBT Armenians? Allow me to introduce myself.

Brooke Ashjian

For the last three years, in Los Angeles and now in Yerevan, I have dedicated my time and energy to LGBT activism within the Armenian community. I bring LGBT Armenians and allies together, build coalitions, raise awareness about our struggles and the cultural and historic peculiarities of our community as they relate to questions of gender and sexuality, and I break the stigma that has shrouded this issue and shut out countless individuals from their families and communities. I am driven by the silence and what at times seems like the unwillingness of our community to intentionally fight homophobia and transphobia, and by my own personal experience growing up gay and Armenian.

I was born in Woodland Hills, California, the son of proud, working-class immigrants. I attended Holy Martyrs Ferrahian Armenian School in Encino for 15 years before going to UCLA. At Ferrahian, I was student body president and graduated top of my class. I also developed a reputation early on as a patriotic Armenian, being voted one of the “Most Armenian Spirited” students in our graduating class.

Being Armenian is the first thing I knew about myself, and it is something that I have always been grounded in and drawn strength from. But by the time I graduated high school, I had learned to hate being Armenian, because of the homophobia that gripped my educational and social environment, and because of painful, irresponsible, and reprehensible statements like yours that reinforced the idea that being gay was objectionable, or worse.

You are not the first Armenian who has compared LGBT people to (genocidal) Turks. In Armenia, it is common to hear calls for gay people to be sent to Baku (Azerbaijanis and Turks belong to the same ethno-national “other” in the collective Armenian imagination). The implication is clear—that if you are gay and Armenian, not only are you not Armenian, but you are the “opposite” of what it means to be Armenian. You are a perceived threat and an enemy.

Of course, comparing someone to a Turk is not an insult, because there is nothing inherently wrong or undesirable about being a Turk. But to draw an equivalence between my activism and the activism of your opponents in Fresno to the crimes of the Ottoman government at the beginning of the 20th century is not only objectively false, it is an affront to the memory of our ancestors and a cheap attempt to prey on the emotions of the Armenian community and the people of Fresno.

“The intolerance shown by the Ottomans toward [our] people” was indeed insufferable. But what is equally insufferable, Mr. Ashjian, is your spinning of history today, and your gross attempt to use the tragedy of our people to defend your willful ignorance about the needs of LGBT students.

I will not allow you or anyone else to use the crimes committed against our people to justify prejudice and discrimination of any form, or to deny students life-saving information and to contribute to their oppression.

What you forget, Mr. Ashjian, is that my family and the families of other LGBT Armenians were marched through the Syrian desert alongside yours. You recognize the injustices Armenians suffered a century ago, but you are unable to recognize the parallel injustices LGBT people have and continue to face all over the globe.

Growing up I heard a lot about the “dark days of the Ottoman Empire” from my family, just like you did. In fact, my identity as an Armenian is centered in part on the Armenian Genocide. The murder of our people and the erasure of our civilization and identity in Turkey is a pain I carry with me like all Armenians, and rectification of which has always been a part of my activism.

But I always have to stop and think about how ironic it is that many of the same people who are trying to keep the memory of our ancestors alive and recover our culture and identity from erasure are trying to erase my own identity as a gay person. Many of the same people who are in the business of achieving recognition for the Armenian Genocide deny me my rightful place in our community, my right to our culture and to our identity.

You claim to speak on behalf of the Armenian-American community. I do not know which community you are talking about. The community that I know burns with the spirit of struggle. The struggle against injustice is as Armenian as it gets. Justice for the Armenian people and justice for LGBT people are one in the same. Many still do not know it, but they are the same struggle.

You said that you have seen your “community torn by misrepresentations and false allegations by individuals who represent the national LGBT movement.” The only misrepresentation and false allegations here are the ones you presented last week at the board meeting. You crossed a line, Mr. Ashjian, a very painful line, and in doing so you have dishonored yourself and the ancestors whom you referenced in your callous, undignified statement. You have also trivialized the seriousness of the crime of genocide in your sad attempt to paint yourself as the righteous victim in this situation, something that I personally cannot tolerate.

You asked what LGBT leaders fear. I fear that LGBT students will not have access to information that is relevant to their health because of your shameless unrepentance. I fear that when you compared the activists defending the interests of LGBT students to genocidal murderers, you caused innumerable young people emotional distress. If you are unable to see the pain you have caused, then it is time for you to leave your position as president of the school board.

I would like to end with a passage from William Saroyan’s “Growing Up in Fresno.” I ask that you read this passage, and let resonate the history of our people in the United States, and the racism and discrimination we faced as a non-White people, ineligible to become naturalized citizens, and thus barred from owning property in some states—a history you seem to have forgotten. I then ask that you re-read this passage and replace the word “Armenian” with “LGBT.”

“Weren’t the Armenian people in Fresno belittled and considered inferior? Yes, they were, by some people, but not by everybody. Well, wasn’t it actually universally established in the mind, if you could call it that, of the town, and the region, that the Armenian was something else, as the saying is? Yes, that was true, too. Well, what effect did that have on me? Well, it had a little effect. I think it had a good effect. It certainly made it necessary for me to acknowledge to myself first that I am who I am—an Armenian—and not somebody who does not wish to be an Armenian, but somebody who accepts that he is an Armenian in an atmosphere where the Armenian is disliked, at the very least, we can put it that way. And that I must make known to anybody who dislikes Armenians that I am one of them. I am an Armenian. With that inflection.”

Kyle Khandikian
Yerevan, Armenia

54 Comments on Do Not Spin Our History: An Open Letter to Fresno Unified School Board President Brooke Ashjian

  1. There are thousands of examples of just how far and outrageous the LGBT movement has gone – especially in regard to children.

    Not a lot of people know it, however, because the mainstream media generally do not report it and neither do Armenian media.

    I ask that you simply do a web search for “drag queen story hour [dot] org”.

    Those are drag queens dressed up and going into schools in major US cities to propagandize to small children.

    That is just one of thousands of examples.

    Whether Brooke Ashjian used an apt analogy or not is not the main issue.

    • Wow, drag queens reading stories to children! How dangerous and alarming. /sarcasm & eyeroll

    • avatar Mrs.Azad Rayyes // August 30, 2017 at 7:27 pm //

      How ignorant you are !
      People like you and Ashjian , have no concept of history in general and Armenian history in particular , further more , you have no sense of Humanity Compassion , you might need it someday !

      This comment is reply to Vahan !

  2. avatar Onnik Kiremitlian // August 30, 2017 at 11:39 am // Reply

    This is another article by a pro-homosexual agenda driven activist who attacks people who dare to protect family values and morality. Armenian Weekly and Asbarez are rowing in the same boat of giving latitude and platform for people who want to promote social, moral and political chaos, and are a part of the same Soros funded organizations who want to spread such a chaos in the world.

    • Yup, all those Soros checks that NO ONE is getting. Where do I sign up for those again? Y’all are keeping it stale with these tired and predictable talking points.

    • Onnik, I agree.

      Brooke Ashjian was not insulting LGBT people at all.

      He was pointing out the extent to which the LGBT agenda has infiltrated into schools in some very negative ways.

      I gave an example above:

      “drag queen story hour [dot] org”

      Most people do not understand how LGBT people can support that sort of thing. This has gone way too far.

      Transgender videos are now being shown to the youngest children at an age when they are just starting to form an identity.

      To tell a young boy or girl that they may be the opposite sex is confusing to 99% of children, and just plain unnecessary.

      There are now hundreds of these programs in schools in the earliest grades.

      One must ask LGBT persons to please have respect for young children and parents who disapprove of these kinds of things.

    • Wow, Vahan really seems to be into that drag queen site.

      Drag queens are a subculture within homosexuality. There are homosexuals who are completely uninterested in that (completely valid) subcultural form. Why are you painting all homosexuals with the same brush?

      And it’s really irritating that some people seem to think that homosexuals who just want to be treated like human beings are part of some grand Sorosian conspiracy. Gay rights activists have had to fight for their rights long before Mr. Soros made his first million, and they will continue to long after he’s dead.

  3. avatar Lousine Shamamian // August 30, 2017 at 12:32 pm // Reply

    Kyle, thank you for this very powerful and personal letter.  You so eloquently expressed what so many of us feel.

    For people who think LGBT inclusive sex education is some how threatening children’s identity,  I ask,  was your sexual orientation so fragile that if someone suggested to you in school that LGBT people exist, would your orientation be in jeapordy? If all it took was power of suggestion,  everyone would be straight because that is what was taught for centuries. Sexual orientation for most isn’t a choice,  it is how we are born.  Including it in the education curriculum isn’t going to convert people. What it will hopefully do is minimize bullying, depression and suicides.
     

    • Lousine, this is not about “LGBT inclusive” sex education.

      As far as your comment that suggests sexual orientation is not fragile, these “lessons” are being given to kindergarten and pre-kindergarten too.

      This is too young for a sex lesson by LGBT. It sexualizes young children.

      In some very young classrooms, one lesson involves a child who goes out of the classroom, changes, and comes back in dressed as the opposite sex.

      The other children are asked what to make of this. This is true.
      You don’t know what is going on in the very youngest grades or you don’t care.

      Look for “drag queen story hour [dot] org”.

      Those are drag queens dressed up and going into schools in major US cities such as NY and SF to influence little kids.

      Where’s the common sense? LGBT organizations are frankly crazy and know no reasonable limits.

      If I told you years ago that drag queens would be teaching 5 year olds, you would have laughed and accused me of fear-mongering.

    • avatar Lousine Shamamian // August 30, 2017 at 7:33 pm //

      Vahan, you are fear mongering. The education law that was passed in CA is for grades 7-12. Where is this sex education that you claim is being given to pre-k and kindergarteners? Yes, I checked out Drag Queen Story Hour…what is so appalling about that? What is it exactly that you think these people in drag, reading Cat and The Hat and other children’s book at the Library is going to do to children? Your fear says more about you then these people who are engaging with children to read (no matter what their attire).

      What will these Drag Queens do? Make these children more engaged in reading? Maybe not judge people who are different from them? Possibly feel freer to be comfortable with who they are? Why is this a bad thing?

      We as Armenians are constantly taught to judge anyone who is different. Where has this gotten us? I think partially why we struggle as a nation and a diaspora has to do with the deep level of judgement so many of us carry. Considering our history as minorities, I wish we as a people were more open minded. Being exposed to LGBTQ people is not going to make someone gay or transgender, not if they’re 5 or 25. If it was that easy, the world would be filled with LGBTQ folks. I’m sure you watched The Birdcage. Did it do anything to you?

    • Brava!

  4. Who gets to decide what “sex education” means when applied to young children? Who gets to arbitrate what is “age appropriate?”

    These issues have been taken out of the hands of parents.

    • Professionals who have studied sex education, children’s development, health, and other relevant areas of study that inform their decision making. Also, despite the fear mongering going on in a lot of these comments no one is teaching toddlers and kindergarteners and elementary school children how to have sex. That is not a thing.

  5. Dear Kyle, I appreciate you being such a great Armenian and all the work that you have done for our culture. However, I disagree with you. Please stop shoving your ideas and viewpoints about the LGBT down our throats. There are some people out there that do believe being gay/transgender is wrong, and we will never change our viewpoint. I personally am not against the people but against the idea. And I will raise my children to know that your ideology is wrong. So stop trying to normalize and spread something that Armenians have kept out of their culture and families for so long.

    • avatar Ara Kassabian // August 30, 2017 at 8:21 pm //

      Yes, and there are people who believe that the Earth is flat, that it was created 4,000 years ago, that the story of Haig and Pel is real. I thought Armenians prided themselves on their education…

    • Which idea is it that you are against? That gay and trans people exist? That’s not an “idea” or an “opinion”. We exist. So if you’re against the “idea” of our existence, you are actually against us as people. Where is your humanity that you would choose to teach your children (who may be themselves gay btw) to hate others and thus themselves?

      Also we have existed as queer and trans Armenians for a very long time. We are not new.

  6. avatar Michelle Hagopian // August 30, 2017 at 2:39 pm // Reply

    This hits really close to home. Well written, Kyle. We need more people to speak these truths to educate those who are so filled with hate they can’t fathom anything they aren’t comfortable with.

  7. “Transgender videos are being shown to the children at an age when they are just starting to form an identity. To tell a young boy or girl that they may be the opposite sex is confusing to children, and just plain unnecessary. One must ask LGBT persons to have respect for young children and parents who disapprove of these kinds of things.”

    I couldn’t agree more. This unnecessary LGBT paranoia, or premeditated federal government- and globalist sponsored agenda rather, is absolutely unnecessary among younger children and youths. Moreover, it is harmful for the fragile young minds. Several nations, including Russia, understood the danger posed by propaganda or teaching of homosexuality among minors. Repeat: among MINORS. Homosexuality or transgenderism cannot be promoted in schools as a behavioral norm for children who are not yet capable of a critical attitude. This has to stop.

    • Careful! The pot of outrage risks boiling over completely when that amount of paranoid conspiracy-theory nonsense is poured into it!

    • Did you seriously quote Russia? Russia who committed a White Genocide against our people?
      Russia where there are concentration camps for gays? Where direct persecution, torture and murder of homosexuals was condoned by the government?
      What if you were born as a homosexual Armenian? How would you feel then about what you are preaching so wholeheartedly?

      I was born in Syria in 1991, when/where homosexuals could been killed… Did that stop me from being gay? Do you people think before you speak… Do you realize how hard it is to grow up as a gay Armenian in Syria in a very conservative Armenian family?! Do you think I would’ve chosen to be gay and be tormented and hated by my own blood… If I had the choice to be straight, I would be in a blink of an eye! The hatred you preach is what will be judged at the gates of Heaven, not your sexuality… That’s what I believe!

    • The concept that homosexuality is being used and propagated in order to destroy the traditional fabric of human family, which you stigmatized as “paranoid conspiracy theory”, is discussed in length and based on solid factual evidence in the works of respected academics who have credentials of which you could have only dreamt of. Careful!

      Russia and several other nations were quoted in a particular context. I have to repeat it here for people who have reading comprehension predicament. These nations on federal level have banned propaganda and teaching of homosexuality or transgenderism to the minors, repeat: MINORS, considering—and rightfully so—that homosexuality or transgenderism cannot be promoted at schools as a behavioral norm for young children whose identity is not yet formed and who are not yet capable of a critical attitude. What do “white genocide”, “concentration camps for gays”, the perception of homosexuality among adults or, least interesting of all, your experiences as a gay in Syria, have to do with this fact? And why is the fact considered “preaching”? Is everything that homosexuals may dislike considered “preaching” by them as an acumen of their thinking?

    • What factual evidence is that? And remember, you said “factual” not conceptual. Every so-called biased study out there that has purported to show that queer and trans people have somehow ‘damaged the fabric of society’ has been debunked. Academics (and I’m one of them, since you’re so worried about people’s credentials) are also human beings with biases that they bring into their studies. Oh, and they lie sometimes too. I know, shocking!

    • This factual evidence is found in many scholarly works. One account that reflected upon the issue is “Homosexual Parenting: Placing Children at Risk” by Timothy J. Dailey. Below is an extract from Dr. Dailey’s article:

      “It is not the intention of homosexual activists simply to make it possible for homosexuals and lesbians to partake of conventional married life. By their own admission they aim to change the essential character of marriage, removing precisely the aspects of fidelity and chastity that promote stability in the relationship and the home:

      Paula Ettelbrick, former legal director of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, has stated, “Being queer is more than setting up house, sleeping with a person of the same gender, and seeking state approval for doing so… Being queer means pushing the parameters of sex, sexuality, and family, and in the process transforming the very fabric of society.” (Source: Paula Ettelbrick, quoted in William B. Rubenstein, “Since When Is Marriage a Path to Liberation?”)

      According to homosexual activist Michelangelo Signorile, the goal of homosexuals is “to fight for same-sex marriage and its benefits and then, once granted, redefine the institution of marriage completely, to demand the right to marry not as a way of adhering to society’s moral codes but rather to debunk a myth and radically alter an archaic institution… The most subversive action lesbian and gay men can undertake […] is to transform the notion of “family” entirely. (Source: Michelangelo Signorile, “Bridal Wave,” Out Magazine, December 1994.)”

  8. It appears that in America nowadays, public self-worth is defined by how publically outraged about something you can be. The more things an aspiring self-publicising activist can find to be publically outraged about, the more publicity they will receive and the more important they will become amongst their self-defined community and “allies”. Extract feelings of personal outrage from as many things, people, events, statements, etc., as you can, no matter how distant, contrived, spurious, harmless, or non-existent the actual connection. The easiest way to justify outrage is to claim to be a victim and to be “pushing back”. Talk a lot about tolerance, but never actually be tolerant of opponents since outrage cannot co-exist with compromise and understanding. Additionally, to maintain the publicity-generation, the outrage business has to be self sustaining: “victims” need to make their own outrage-generating statements so others can then claim to be victimised, be outraged, and express outrage. Ashjian made a good start. Guekguezian added even more heat. Khandikian now claiming what happened to Armenians in Turkey in 1915 “parallels the injustice” of the position of LGBTs in America in the mid 2010s seems a sufficiently extreme outrage-generating statement to keep the pot of outrage boiling along nicely.

    • You may have a point about the American political scene and society but how do you propose gay people address the issues? Homophobia has been tolerated and entertained for far too long and now that there’s pushback, it’s all part of some kind of outrage culture?

      The amount of Armenian(-American, or otherwise) activists for gay rights can be counted on one hand, so we will take Khandikian, “self-publicizing,” “outrage,” and all.

    • Yes, I’m sure Kyle is absolutely thrilled about all this wonderful publicity he has gotten from such caring and compassionate kin. Y’all will say anything to absolve yourselves from your homophobia and transphobia, and make it into some harmless “opinion”. Also, tolerating intolerance is not a thing. No one is obligated to tolerate someone else dehumanizing them.

      If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.

  9. Kyle, thank you for taking a stand and writing such a great piece. It is puzzling to me how a people who has suffered discrimination and genocide can have individuals who are so intolerant, not defending human rights, and spreading so much hate. Fortunately, there are so many of us who are with you. Keep the faith. As for those who think that LGBT people are destroying our youth I must say that I had gay professors, and my children too and all of us remained heterosexual and have not been “damaged” in any way. Stop spreading myths!!!

    • Did you read what others wrote before posting your comment? This discussion is not about grown-up people like you or your college-age grown children unaffected by gay professors or gay people in general. It is about fragile minds of minors and young adults, repeat: minors and young adults, whose identity and critical attitude are not yet formed so they, having a female mother and a male father as in any normal human family, could absorb at their schools such weird things as homosexuality or transgenderism. Is it clear?

  10. One person’s hateful idea is another person’s conscientious advocacy.

  11. avatar Hovagims Boy // August 30, 2017 at 10:43 pm // Reply

    Gay, Non-Binary, Armenian American, and proud of it babeh 🇦🇲🏳️‍🌈🇺🇸 I get to fly all the flags. And yes, I’m preaching the gender revolution everywhere I go. Kiss my dress.

  12. Great job Kyle,
    As another homosexual Armenian, it pains me to see fellow homosexuals pushed away from everything Armenian by some homophobic losers like Ashjian. I have been an active Armenian in spreading awareness about our persecution and also fighting to maintain and make known our stolen culture and history, since I could remember.
    There are others like me who have made it to the highest podiums in the world and instead of people embracing us and acknowledging that being gay is as Nayirian as the Khatchkar or Van, they go against us and try to take us out of the equation.
    Just because some people are insecure about their own sexuality, doesn’t mean that they have the right to destroy the whole lives of LGBTQI Armenians. The person who commented saying they would let their children know it’s wrong, does not understand that their children might be gay regardless of what they teach them! and that would torment them for life as it has with me (my stupid father taught me it was wrong, but he is the one who needs to be educated).
    Despite what you think about us, We are ARMENIAN and nobody gains from this internal war other than our enemies! I just hope that the whole attitude would change, so that the young ones who are shifting away would not be lost!

  13. There is a ton of tin foil hat conspiracy theorists around here.

    Teams videos being shown the Pre-K….

    Ugh, sure that is happening on mass scale.

    But I guess if you lie enough people will believe you.

    Sad to see trolls take over this comment section.

    • You don’t know what is going on in schools in terms of LGBT in the lowest grades.
      It’s not paranoia at all.
      If you just read the NY Times or Los Angeles Times, you won’t know about these things. Please educate yourself on these issues before you say these things are not happening in schools.
      I posted what to look for – one actual website.
      Apparently, you simply ignored it and claimed it’s a fantasy.

  14. Most Armenian’s have repeatedly proven their ignorance and will never be a part of the “West”. Why do they insist on leaving the Middle East or Russia? They simply are not able to assimilate into modern societies.

  15. avatar Levon Avdoyan // August 31, 2017 at 6:59 am // Reply

    Thank you, Kyle. After decades of hearing “concerned citizens'” denunciation of the “Homosexual Agenda,” it is good you clarified things. that “Agenda” has long meant for me that we demand one thing and one thing only – our constitutional guarantee of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” That happiness is defined by each of us, and not by others’ often atavistic concept of morality. We are not second tier citizens; we do not want anything more than you have; we do not even want your approval. We just want you to lead your lives and we will lead ours. In point of fact, the laws we want seek to give us equal rights, not to take yours away. (Unless you believe the Constitution gives you the right to impose your beliefs on the entire country. That’s not a right. That’s a constitutional heresy.) Thank you for your bravery and your commitment. As for the nay sayers: Attention must not be paid!

    • Well said.

      Interestingly, the people who are always going on about “God-given rights” and such are often the ones trying to take the rights of others away.

    • And who among posters here trampled down your constitutional guarantee of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”? Whenever a specific issue is discussed, such as propaganda or teaching of homosexuality or transgenderism to the younger children, as in this thread, homosexuals start whining: “we are not second tier citizens”, “we do not want anything more than you have”, “we do not even want your approval”, etc. Is this discussion about them being second tier citizens or them not wanting anything more than traditional orientation people have? As grown-ups, repeat: GROWN UPs, yes, we lead our lives and you lead yours. But, as a person concerned with “constitutional guarantees and rights”, you must also understand that younger, unformed human beings must be allowed to lead their lives and be ready and capable of freely deciding on their attitude towards homosexuality or transgenderism when they grow up, and not in the schools. There is absolutely no need to impose and most of the comments are about the despicable practice of imposition of attitudes to the minors, and not about “constitutional rights” of the LGBT people or their perception among most Armenians as, I admit, alien to our traditional, national, and family values. It is potentially harmful for the young children’s psyche to be stuffed with things that are weird for them. In this, I absolutely agree with many posters above.

    • We are not talking about homosexual rights in general.
      No one is disputing that.

      This subject came up solely because Brooke Ashjian, Superintendent of Fresno Unified, objected to what LGBT are trying to push in the schools.

      Drag Queens teaching to the youngest children is wrong. I posted the website. They are “teaching” the youngest kids in schools in NY and SF.

      The very idea that someone could justify such a thing is obscene.

      How about showing 5 year olds how gays “do it”? Is that ok too?

      Let’s stick to the subject: LGBT brainwashing of little kids in public schools.

  16. Friends, the issue is about sex education for the very, very, very young. Somehow, the posters here have taken the conversation elsewhere.

    • God bless, Pattamish!

    • That is a false flag. As others have pointed out repeatedly, no one is teaching kindergarteners and elementary school kids how to have sex. Inclusive sex education means exactly what it says. That when straight students get to hear about how healthy and consent-driven sex works for them, so does everyone else. Honestly the people most obsessed about how some of us have sex or pee or whatever else we do with our bodies, are bigots and so-called “keep the government out of my business” hypocrites.

  17. avatar Garen Yegparian // August 31, 2017 at 6:51 pm // Reply

    The disconnect among the commenters on opposing sides of this issue seems to me to rise FIRST from the lack of awareness that sexual “orientation” is not a CHOICE. It is by birth, like being a genius, left handed, or any of the countless other traits our species has.

    Once this is clear, some of the fear felt about “converting” the very young should dissipate.

    Then the question of why LGBTQ info should be disseminated then begets the answer that BECAUSE we have been taught that it is “wrong”, we will have to go through a transition period where that erroneous teaching is neutralized and dissipates.

    Ultimately, we should all want to be at a point where no one presumes to tell anyone else the “appropriate” use of their own private parts.

    • The American Psychiatric Association classifies homosexuality as a sexual orientation. Therefore, there is no need to put the term orientation in quotes. Second, most scientists agree that the exact causes for the development of a particular sexual orientation, such as homosexuality, have yet to be established. Lastly, whether homosexuality is a choice or is by birth or is an abomination, it is totally unacceptable and outrightly obscene to teach it at schools to the younger children.

    • Dear Mr. Yegparian:
      Frankly, it is unproved that sexual orientation is fixed from birth.
      There are a number of studies that say that teens who say they have a homosexual orientation later say, when they are adults, that that they heterosexual. Same with transgenderism.
      This has also been the experience of practitioners.
      One must also take into account the role of peer pressure in introducing young people to sexual behavior in which they would not otherwise indulge.
      I don’t think you are reading the relevant literature on this subject.

      Little kids don’t need drag queens reading them stories.

      This is entirely a new thing that no one ever thought was necessary, and reports are that children are getting confused, not enlightened, by such obviously political intrusions.

      I suggest this article:
      “Homosexuals Admit Sexual Orientation Can and Does Change”.
      There are also numerous studies.

  18. avatar King Daniel // August 31, 2017 at 8:07 pm // Reply

    I commend Brooke Ashjian for speaking out against LGBTQXYZ propaganda to promote their twisted sexuality. They will stop at nothing to try to convince us that what they do is natural, when it is not.
    God created man and woman for a reason. The natural order of things is for sex to take place between a man and a woman because they physically and emotionally complete each other. Anything else is a sexual disorder resulting from hyper-sexualization of society which can leave some people confused…

    If you want to be a homosexual, go ahead, but you might as well go have sex with a chair while you’re at it since such behaviour is without purpose or meaning.

    It is this kind of deviancy which leads to the fall of western and Armenian civilization. When instead of having a man marry a woman, founding a family and having kids, you have two homosexuals tickling their genitals with each other, you end up having a falling birthrate and down the line less and less Armenians.

    Kyle, if you want to help the Armenian nation, then keep your American decadent sexuality to yourself. It does not belong with our people.

  19. avatar Lusine Hakobyan // September 1, 2017 at 3:30 am // Reply

    Kyle;
    thank you for your letter, however you are not a Fresno native nor a Fresno Armenian. Your letter has no basis for what is going on in California or Fresno. This AB #329 that added the the California Youth Health Act the teaching of LGBMQT in a comprehensive medical factual format. At the same time $75 million was slashed from the budget by Obama for teaching abstinence to avoid unwanted pregnancy and STDs. The problem with this Assembly Bill (AB) is there is no specific way to ratify it to please all the people involved. Mr. Ashjian was voicing his concerns regarding the improper teaching of a very controversial subject that would need prior consent of the parents. Frankly, the way Assembly Bills are ratified to the local school districts, his concerns were valid. No child should feel as though they have no one to speak to about their sexual and reproduction questions. As an elected official of Fresno County, Mr. Ashjian has a DUTY to bring up concerns and create a dialogue. As he said, we would be compliant with this assembly bill, however it’s problematic for not only teachers, but for parents and many students. Parents should be teaching sexual moral values to children not the schools. In the perfect world that would be true but more and more California teachers feel like less of an educator and more of a parent as the family structure further breaks down.
    AB1915 was passed over 2 years ago declaring the teaching of the Armenian Genocide in California for 7th grade to 12th grade. Many school districts were very vocal about this subject matter and how it would be taught, would it create hatred toward the Turkish people? Would all children benefit learning about genocides? yada yada, we heard many objections from schools. Armenian activists never labeled the school board members as “racist” or “bigots” ‘etc’ for having concerns regarding the way this was to be rolled out on local levels, What is the curriculum structure? In the end almost 3 years later we still don’t have it rolled out to every school district in California, and it’s been re written to include ALL genocides including native Americans to a more educational points to identify state sponsored genocide against a group of people.
    If you even bothered to go to the meeting or review the videos available online, Mr. Ashjian was conducting himself professionally, honestly and from his heart. But the anger from these activists was venomous and destructive, with one gay preacher judging and showing no tolerance for an opposing view told Mr. Ashjian you should step down. They don’t want to hear opposition or concerns they just demand. It’s not dialogue from this group it was attacking the person personally and not the argument. They want “tolerance” and “Understanding” yet they were not willing to show that at all.
    Its Mr. Ashjian’s job to be an advocate for Fresno education for the children of Fresno county. An angry mob of activists not willing to hear concerns is a form of censorship and this is exactly what our grandparents went through. Don’t shoot the messenger who is doing their job attack the argument and through healthy debate there may be a great curriculum rolled out that can serve the needs of those that are gender confused or sexual orientation and also satisfy the parents of students and students that wish to NOT have this included in the curriculum. No one wants kids to be bullied by other kids or cajoled into behaviors because “it’s cool” or “everyone else is doing it” on the flip side they shouldn’t feel ashamed because they have homosexual thoughts and feelings.
    Healthy debate makes curriculums successful, if everyone believed the same ideologies there is no room for improvement. Rev. Ara G. doesn’t speak for the Armenian community he is not a der hayr in a traditional Armenian church. He has an opinion too, and its open for debate he is wrong about the gay community living on the margins of society. We live in a country that has strong laws protecting homosexuality, same sex marriage and benefits. Our white house refuses to acknowledge the Armenian genocide as a country but when the same sex law was passed the white house was lite up in the Gay Flag.
    Walk a mile in another person’s shoes and although you have an opinion as you are entitled to, without being vilified or labeled Mr. Ashjian has that right and duty to show concern over a flimsy Assembly Bill without being cursed, screamed at and told to “resign” for having an opinion and concerns. Wow really? You all should get over yourself, and demand more debates so we can improve the schools system. The same American public education that approved over 162 Publicly funded charter schools to be ran by the Gulen Turkish Cult, who is teaching Turkish to our children and was even doing sleep overs in their gyms. Yes the largest network of publicly funded charter schools in the USA are ran by a Turkish Cult who was also the largest lobbying in the USA for Azerbaijan. Oh and you have a problem with someone voicing a concern ???

    • Well perhaps if you were properly educated in the matter, then you would know that it’s LGBTQI.
      The schools who are against teaching about the Armenian Genocide are in the wrong as well!

  20. I love this article! I am Armenian-American, and if is so important to note our sexuality, I am heterosexual, and I support and embrace our LGBTQ community. We are Armenians, and in the end, we are not many. We must embrace every single person in our community, despite our very slight differences. In the end we share a huge commonality, our love for the diaspora and homeland. That way we are stronger, healthy, and we will thrive! (:

    • avatar King Daniel // September 2, 2017 at 1:46 pm //

      Eghishapet,
      Your comment does not make any sense whatsoever. Kyle’s encouragement of homosexuality in Armenian society in no way makes us stronger, healthier and thriving.
      At the end of the day, the only way the Armenian nation can win its struggle against the Turkish and Azeri enemy is not by acting like a bunch of cry babies over the Genocide, and expecting others to come and solve our problems for us. Victory will come by increasing our numbers. That happens when one man marries one woman (both preferably Armenian…), and they have kids! Homosexuality does not achieve this. All this deviant sexual behaviour results in is fewer heterosexual couples, fewer kids, and fewer Armenians.

  21. This is for John and Vahan:
    There are a few reasons for homophobia. One of the most common one is due to the fact that the person who fears homosexuality is afraid of their own feelings. But regardless of the reason there’s nothing more cowardly than hating others due to your fears!

    The reason why cowards hide behind one flag rather than all flags, is because they pick and choose battles they think they can win. Well the examples you’ve given doesn’t help you at all. Russia is one where “homosexual propaganda” is illegal. Once they put this law into action, the purge started… homosexuals were lured into traps and were tortured.

    What you’re saying is homophobic… what propaganda are you talking about?! Telling kids that it’s normal to be gay?! Why is that bad? Even if people in drag were reading stories to kids… What harm could that do?

    Now let’s consider the opposite. What harm could banning “homosexual propaganda” do? Makes all homosexuals feel unwanted. It discriminates against a group of people based on their sexual orientation.

    It all boils down to discrimination based on sexual orientation (do we have to change the word orientation as well for you retards to understand that it’s not a choice?! if it was a choice, then you would be able to change yours too)

    • And this is for you and your ilk:

      Another hobby-horse that homosexuals like to ride is to bring “homophobia” into discussions where there is nothing remotely reminiscent to irrational fear of or aversion to homosexuality. No matter how many times posters in this thread repeat that their “fears” are not about homosexuality per se, but about teaching and propagating homosexuality to the minors, another beef-head pop ups throwing gibberish, this time about “homophobia”.

      In Russia and several other countries, so you crawl out from your little box, homosexual propaganda is not illegal. Homosexual propaganda to the young children is illegal. Read the title of the law, re-read it, if you please, so next time you don’t give us this crap about homophobia: “The Law for the Purpose of Protecting Children from Information Advocating for a Denial of Traditional Family Values”. Let me spell it out for you: P-r-o-t-e-c-t-i-n-g c-h-i-l-d-r-e-n. No purge ever started after the adoption of this law and no homosexual was ever “lured into traps and was tortured”. Throw a pity party somewhere else, not here, please…

      Why is telling kids that it’s “normal” to be gay is bad? First of all, who told you that the general societal perception of homosexuality is totally favorable towards whether being gay is normal? Far from it. Second, telling the children, the prevailing majority of whom come to schools from normal families where mom is a female and dad is a male, is bad in that fragile young minds should not be exposed to homonormativity, i.e. content presenting homosexuality as being a norm. Young children lack the ability of critical attitude, therefore propaganda of abnormalities such as homosexuality is unnecessary and potentially harmful for their psyche. Same with the people in drag reading stories to kids. When a kid’s identity is not yet formed and, again, he or she sees in their families and among relatives men dressed and behaving like men and women dressed and behaving like women, it is harmful for their young minds to adjust to something absolutely unnecessary, weird, and ugly.

      Therefore, banning homosexual propaganda to the minors, repeat with me: the m-i-n-o-r-s, in no way makes homosexuals feel wanted or unwanted amongst adults, repeat with me: a-d-u-l-t-s, who already have their established attitude towards homosexuality. If you’re so concerned about “discrimination” against a group of people based on their sexual orientation, when in fact there is none, try to respect the feelings of a much larger societal layer of traditional families who are concerned with teaching homosexuality to their young children.

      If your little mind is only capable of understanding that everything that concerned traditional families say with regard to their children’s education “boils down to discrimination based on sexual orientation”, then it may well by birth that you’re not capable of expanding it.

  22. If an Armenian happens to be gay, I would not think of them as any ‘less Armenian’ and say let them be. However, when this identity is next politicized, and then organized and then used as a weapon against our traditionalist culture, then I draw the line. We have already witnessed this leftist assault on American traditional culture, and I don’t know if their task is “complete” yet (certainly it is succeeding), but for me enough is enough.

    After reading the comments I’m on the side of posters Onnik, av, John, Vahan and King Daniel, did I miss a few? I’m glad to see the protectors of our culture are not ashamed to do it and have not fallen into this leftist trap of dramatizing everything to cause “social change”, as if we have nothing better else to do.

    My post here will reflect the topic King Daniel touched upon, and express my view from a non-traditional perspective here, as I feel the traditional one is self-evident. And that is that these LGBT “activists” are actually a security threat for Armenia. Why do I say this? Well because of the same reason that the Jehovah’s Witnesses are also a security threat. If everyone became one, then Armenia would soon cease to exist because their members are “forbidden from joining the armed forces”.

    This same concept applies to LGBT “activism”. In a small nation like Armenia, if young impressionable minds are toyed with and in the worst case if everyone changed their sexual orientation, then Armenians would go extinct. Thus, this condition is neither natural, nor desirable from a social perspective. We are not a nation of 100 million to be toying with western-lifestyle, and thus alien to our nature, “social experiments” and to see how we can avoid the hurt feelings of a small number of people.

    And to those claiming one is born that way. In some cases this certainly may be true, yet we know this is not true in others, thus making such conclusions is erroneous. Some have actually felt their condition is not what they want, and thus have converted to heterosexuals through self initiative or therapy. The fact that this has happened many times successfully is evidence enough that “you are born that way” is more opinion than fact.

    • Yes, indeed, there are many homosexuals who say that their behavior came about through abuse of various kinds.

      Impressionable young persons can be influenced by peer pressure, drugs, and media to experiment with homosexuality and get themselves into big trouble.

      This is why homosexual propaganda to young people in their formative years is so insidious. Drag queens in first grade school (I listed its website before) is just one example I provided. Not many parents would bring a drag queen into their home for teach their youngest children so why would a school do it? This is the sort of insanity we are talking about – propagandizing children.
      That is not homophobia. It’s common sense.

    • Ashjian’s defenders on this page have conveniently forgotten (as they go on and on about drag queens, etc.) that the distinguishing issue here is Ashjian’s shameless and very objectionable exploitation of the Armenian Genocide to further his political career, especially since it implicates other Armenians in his warped thinking. Do not spin our history, indeed!

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