Annual Rainbow Forum 2023: Looking Inward


This year, the 8th Rainbow Forum, which has already become a tradition to be held each year, took place from November 30th to December 2nd. Around 155 people participated in the three-day forum, including LGBT+ people, their parents, civil society representatives, artists, activists, lawyers, healthcare professionals, and more.

The forum agenda allowed participants to choose the discussion topics they were interested in and the most convenient times to participate in the workshops and discussions.

The forum kicked off with a vibrant opening ceremony with a colorful display of performances, including an Armenian Ballroom performance. Powerful opening speeches were delivered by Pink’s Chairperson, Karine Aghajanyan and Executive Director Hripsime Kizogyan. Rainbow World Quiz was held for the first time, which included questions on LGBT+ related topics and the correct answer by the audience got a gift. Afterward the ambassadors and representatives of diplomatic missions and the UN were invited to the stage to elaborate on each answer since the topics were related to their countries, society or history.

The evening included a short film presentation on the history of the Rainbow Forum․

On the second day, numerous panel discussions and parallel sessions covered topics such as visibility within the movement, media coverage, social media activism, support for LGBT+ parents, violence’s impact on lives, conversion practices in Armenia, the fight against HIV/AIDS, and the experiences of LGBT+ migrants. Other important topics of the day included an insightful exploration of non-binary identities and professional responses to violence. The day concluded with the “Berneberan 2023” (Mouth to Mouth) a unique stand-up show, offering humorous queer monologues.

The final day continued the momentum with a panel discussion on selective justice, followed by parallel sessions addressing activist wellbeing spaces, mental health, LBTQ* women’s spaces, and forcibly displaced people in Armenia. The Forum wrapped up with a summary and closing ceremony moderated by the talented drag artist Leona Shahinyan. The day concluded with a festive celebration, marking Pink’s 16th birthday.

The Rainbow Forum 2023 not only strengthened the LGBT+ movement but also provided a platform for diverse voices and perspectives. The Rainbow Forum was also a space to promote mutual understanding, empathy, and support in our society.

As every year, this forum will leave an impact long after its conclusion, promoting community empowerment and reuniting us all in the struggle to create an equal and accepting society.