Founded in 2012, AZAD lgbt is dedicated to promoting LGBT rights in Azerbaijan. Working with local artists, NGOs and educators on better media representation, educational resources, and support, we aim to create a brighter future for Azerbaijan's LGBT community
Azerbaijan for Chechnya
May 17th 2017
The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) is an annual event that highlights the efforts of global LGBT activists. The day is unique in that it offers a look at what people and organizations outside of more commonly covered are doing to combat homophobia and transphobia in their communities.
Azerbaijan is a small country in the Caucasus, located between Iran, Russia, Georgia, Armenia, and the Caspian Sea. Our organization, AZAD lgbt, is one of only a handful of LGBT rights organizations in the country and in the past on IDAHOT we've produced educational videos and art projects. This year however we felt we needed to take a different approach. The horrors facing LGBT people in Chechnya is a global emergency and we wanted to do whatever we could to support those on the ground working to save lives.
100% of the funds we raise will be going to the Russian LGBT Network, which has been doing incredible work relocating people from Chechnya.
This fundraiser is in collaboration with New Queer Visions, which has organized a screening of short LGBT films from Russia and the Caucasus. The screening will take place in London on June 24th, and we're honored to say our late founder Isa Shahmarli's short film Ğ will be included.
Baku PremiEre of "My Child"
“My Child” is a feature documentary about a very courageous and inspiring group of mothers and fathers in Turkey, who are parents of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-gender individuals. They have not only gone through the difficult path of accepting their children for who they are, but also have taken the next step to share their experiences with other LGBT families and the public. In “My Child” seven parents intimately share their experiences with the viewer, as they redefine what it means to be parents, family, and activists in this conservative, homophobic and trans-phobic society.
In five homes in Istanbul, Turkey, seven parents of LGBT individuals talk about their experiences of becoming parents; about their children growing up and opening up to them; about the difficult path they had to go through in dealing with this; about themselves opening up to their families, and relearning how to be a parent. They talk about themes such as denial, trauma, helplessness, fear, shame, acceptance, and re-birth. They say nothing has prepared them for this experience. None of the parenting guides, nothing passed on from their elders or schooling mentioned how one could be a parent of a LGBT child. They had to learn it from scratch. When they talk about how they experienced the coming out of their children, they refer to it as the death of a child and birth of a new one. They say this extremely traumatic experience has also led to their own rebirth, as they have been questioning what it means to be an individual, to be true to oneself, and to be a parent. In a conservative society, where family ties are important, they had to deal with their fears about what “others” would say, whether they would be ostracized if they were to come out to their own parents, families, and friends. They say that they are very lucky that they have children who have come out to them and their children have become their teachers in this process
The producer of the film and a parent from the film will participate in the event. You can ask your questions about this film after screening of it from them in a Q&A session.
CHILDREN OF THE FREE WORLD
In Azerbaijan the majority of society has a profound misunderstanding about the LGBT community when it comes to understanding their lifestyle and respecting them. People see LGBT individuals as a lazy and selfish group of people, unconcerned with others. We constantly hear people say that LGBT people don't care about the environment, social activities, volunteering, or helping others. These are old ideas that pass from generation to generation, and AZAD lgbt wants to end them.
From now until New Year's Eve we'll be collecting money to buy clothing, toys, and school supplies which we'll deliver to a local orphanage we've partnered with. 100% of what we earn will be donated. If you're in Baku and want to donate money in person thats ok too! Please write us firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
We hope this project will not only provide a happy New Years to children, but show that the LGBT community in Azerbaijan is a vital part of our country and cares about its future.
“We Don't Look At Gender In Our Language, So Why Do We Look At It In Life?”
This message is at the center of Azerbaijan LGBT rights organization AZAD lgbt's campaign promoting the Toolkit portion of its site, azadaz.org. Based around the word 'O', Azerbaijani's genderless word for he/she/it, the campaign is designed specifically for an Azerbaijani audience. “When we launched the site earlier this month we wanted to start taking a different approach to LGBT rights work in Azerbaijan.” says Lala Mahmudova, current head of AZAD. “Instead of taking campaigns designed for the United States or Europe and trying to make them work here, we wanted to step back and ask what would really work for the lgbt community in Azerbaijan.”
Somebody Loves You
A short film to mark one year since Isa Shahmarli committed suicide
We devoted this film to our beloved friend Isa Shahmarli who committed suicide last year and believed strongly in the power of love. This video is about our thoughts in our desperate and hopeless situation and how we should think again. Always there are people that we need and people who need us.