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Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO, with the financial support of Pink Human Rights Defender NGO, conducted a training on “Literate Communication and Online Activism” for transgender activists from August 1 to 5, 2022. The training was aimed at increasing the level of social involvement of transgender people in the Republic of Armenia by fighting against gender norms and stereotypes.
During the five-day training, 18 selected transgender people gained new knowledge about communication, digital activism, media literacy, cyber security, mobile activism, and working with data and human rights protection mechanisms. The participants worked individually with experts, received advice on reducing calls for violence and hate speech against the community on social media, shared their new ideas with the attendees and developed informational materials during practical activities to promote a positive image of trans people and an atmosphere of tolerance.
Transgender activist and the Founding President of Right Side HRD NGO Lilit Martirosyan launched the training. She gave an opening speech highlighting and welcoming the involvement of transgender people in activism in recent years, as well as thanked all the activists fighting for human rights, freedoms and common values on the front lines paving the way for TRANS LGBIQ people who continued to be oppressed by their family members and Armenian society and were often forced to hide their gender identity and sexual orientation.
On the first day of the training, the participants learned how to competently manage social pages and use social media by making the most of it. As a result of group discussions and activities, the participants developed materials with different contents to share on their social pages.
Continuing the discussions, on the second day, the participants learned about the rules of competent speech and ethics during activism, how and on what topics it was necessary to talk to the audience to reduce hate speech on social media. Under the guidance of the trainer, the participants studied social platforms and then presented their works.
The third day of the training was dedicated to cyber security and data protection, self-care, and the activists’ physical and mental safety. During various discussions, the participants spoke about the consequences of publishing personal data and developed special steps to prevent similar cases while being involved in activism.
During the fourth day, the participants learned about fundamental rights and protection mechanisms, about a number of examples of successful public campaigns, and started working on promoting a positive image of trans people.
On the fifth day of the training, the participants discussed how to find allies outside the community through strategic communication, cooperate with media representatives, and increase the community’s visibility.
At the end of the training, the activists developed a strategic communication plan, which they would use during their activism.
The participants thanked the organizers for the opportunity and suggested that similar events be organized more often. Lilit Martirosyan made a closing speech, handed over certificates to all the participants and thanked them for their active participation. She added that Right Side HRD NGO, being the first Trans organization in Armenia and the Caucasus, would spare no effort to implement projects for the benefit of Trans people so that the community members lived a safe and prosperous life. She promised that the NGO’s activities on gender equality would be continuous to change the opinions and stereotypical approaches about Trans people in the society.
Some of the participants shared their opinions and feelings about the training.
“This seminar was different from the rest in that the topics were very close to our hearts, but at the same time, they were different and varied. Every day I received new knowledge that would help me to reduce the hatred towards us in the future.”
“I wish there were many such meetings; together we find more effective solutions.”
“This is the second time I am participating in the course organized by you, and for the second time, I want to say that I am surprised; you are giving me new and different knowledge.”
November 21, 2022 Armenia, Yerevan