Last weekend was pretty major for gay rights. On Friday, the US Supreme Court issued a decision granting marriage equality to same-sex couples in all 50 states. Then on Saturday and Sunday millions took part in annual gay pride celebrations all over the world. To mark both events, Facebook offered users the option to apply a rainbow filter to their profile pictures. The site was awash with colour as members of the LGBT community and their allies made the switch. Amongst those to do so were Tamar Kaprelian and Stephanie Topalian from Genealogy – Armenia’s Eurovision 2015 supergroup.
Naturally their actions were met with a lot of positivity, but sadly this began to get lost amidst a torrent of hateful and homophobic comments, forcing Tamar to delete and block users.
Just as an FYI- this is my personal page. NOT my artist account. If you write something rude on this photo, you will be blocked and your comment will be deleted. Too many people have been writing rude, disrespectful, and ignorant things. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. I am entitled to an opinion. I ask you to be respectful of my beliefs and I will be respectful of yours. Also, regardless of what you believe, everyone should be tolerant and respectful of other people and other people’s rights. That’s just called being a good human-being. Personally, I believe in equality. I believe in respecting ALL people on this earth. End of story. #Amen
She shared a similar message on her official fan page. However, Stephanie chose to leave all comments in place. Several simply said “amot” which translates as “shameful”. Others declared they were unfollowing her, while one user even branded her the “anti-christ girl”. Moses, Jesus, Adam and Steve all made cameos below the picture. Stephanie’s brother Chris, who is openly gay, described the reaction as “disheartening”.
Genealogy Interview at Eurovision 2014
But if we learned anything at Eurovision, it’s that the ladies of Genealogy stick together. And sure enough, backup arrived in the shape of Tamar. And she was awesome! Is Stephanie a “homosexual???” asked one user. “Nope. Just a smart person who believes in equality and tolerance”, responded her band mate. In reply to another who wrote “1000000 amot”, she simply said “Stop. Being. Ignorant”. A former fan announced that “It is not negative it is my opinion !! I was urs and Tamars Fan but now sorry !! Ur Christian (i thought ) . God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve”. Tamar politely informed him that “We don’t need fans like you Khach, jan. Stephanie and I both believe in equality. And you should be respectful of our opinions just as we are respectful of yours.” SLAY QWEENS!
Of course we shouldn’t ignore all the supportive comments either. Tamar acknowledged many of them with a “thanks” or “agreeeeed”. In fact, following her intervention, there seems to have been a swell in positive comments.
Genealogy meet Conchita Wurst on the Eurovision red carpet
Armenia still has a long-way to come in terms of LGBT rights – homosexuality was only decriminalised in 2003. And y’all will remember the foray surrounding Aram MP3’s “joke” about Conchita Wurst in 2014. While the backlash against the Facebook pictures may pale in comparison to that faced by Russia’s Polina Gagarina after she shared an instagram video with Conchita, it is still raising awareness. We tip our hats to Tamar and Stephanie – every little helps!