Armenian drag artists “Cher the Love” for Artsakh

(Artist: Fernando Delgado)

As the destruction and after-effects of the 2020 Artsakh War continue, a group of queer Armenians and allies have decided to harness the power of virtual events and a well-known Armenian icon to support the members of our community most in need. 

“Cher the Love for Artsakh” is a virtual event featuring 12 Armenian and allied drag artists from around the world in Cher-themed performances. It includes everything from seasoned performers to artists just beginning to explore drag and shows off a side of the Armenian community that is too often marginalized and erased. The show focuses on Cher as one of the most well-known Armenian icons, using her music to introduce the world to Armenian artists and fight violence and destruction with creativity and positivity. 

The event is a fundraiser for Eyes on Artsakh, a queer-led organization that was founded during the 2020 war to distribute immediate aid to those affected by the attacks. After the ceasefire agreement resulted in the ethnic cleansing of thousands in November, Eyes on Artsakh has transitioned to providing long-term aid to wounded soldiers and their families. 

Cher the Love is co-hosted by Entanik, a digitally-based chosen family of queer Armenians and allies dedicated to uplifting and showcasing people in queer, Armenian and allied communities through fundraising, events, social media and other outreach programs. This is the organization’s first event and promises to be the foundation for a growing global community. 

“As members of the LGBT+ community, we know what it is like to face discrimination and oppression,” said Scott Mazmanian, a co-founder of Entanik. “We want to use our platform to connect with everyone who supports our communities and help those most in need right now.”

These LGBTQ+ Armenians are not afraid to use their unique experiences, identities and talents to support the community they love and draw more people to the Armenian cause. 

The event will be held Friday, April 9, at 7 p.m. CT. It will be streamed twice—at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.—on Twitch. Tickets are available online

Araxie Cass

Araxie Cass

Araxie Cass is a member of the AYF Chicago Ararat Chapter, as well as a student of Creative Writing and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. Her work includes creative non-fiction and short stories, focusing on Armenian topics, as well as social justice, culture and community.

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