LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

“I have heard powerful stories…” – the I am Here for You project

Creating Opportunities
Central Asia

Farkhad Musazov, Partnership specialist, Kyrgyz Indigo, Kyrgyzstan.   

Everyone has their own story. Usually, such stories filled with struggle, joy, success, and even failure. 

I used to be a person who is indifferent toward the issues in global and local levels. Facing difficulties in my own personal and professional development, I found myself after I was able to overcome barriers in my own life. As I grew in both personal and professional aspects, I strived to share the opportunities, knowledge, and information I have and possess.  Thus, currently, I am satisfied with the life I am living. However, thinking back to the journey make to get to this point, I cannot help but realise that it was a very difficult and strenuous path.

The path I took lead me to realize that my purpose moved to helping and supporting people. Further, I joined a human right organisation “Kyrgyz Indigo” (KI) which strives to make society better. More liberal, tolerant, and understanding. Moreover, KI creates a platform where the staff can work together to make business more enjoyable. 

At the beginning of my career, I was given the opportunity to participate in an international event. This opportunity provided me with the chance to meet people from different countries whose common goal is to make a better society. These people are the ones who fight against stigmatisation, discrimination, and violence around the world. One of the participants of the conference was a representative from the Russian Service Project for Transgender People - T9NSK. As we got acquainted and shared some of our personal and professional stories and experiences, I was invited to join in the project “I am Here for You,” which was previously implemented by the T9NSK organization.

“I am Here for You”, supported by Creating Opportunities programme, is the project that helps to share stories of LGBT acceptance within their own siblings. These are all life stories about acceptance, love, support and the overcoming of difficulties together. These are stories told by people who deserve the right to be heard but do not get a chance in the society. In the conservative societies, it is not a secret that many topics are taboo, especially LGBT issues. In the case of this campaign, we are spreading the message through life stories that no one can be judged because their hearts belong to any kind of person.

In fact, this project basically is the logical continuation of our work with parents of LGBT people. Therefore, within the implementation of “I am Here for You” we are covering the whole family that accepted their LGBT daughters, sons, brothers, and sisters. This is essential if one would consider the condition of LGBT issues in the Kyrgyz Republic, which is discriminative and even sometimes volatile. This is why working with LGBT people and supportive families is very important.

Currently, we are at the final stage of implementing the project “I am Here for You.” As the project’s coordinator, I have heard powerful stories to which a person cannot be indifferent. It is significant to witness how many people grow up in a society that constructs the pattern of “norms” and “standards” look beyond the given notions of the “right” and the “wrongs.” Thus, notwithstanding to the social opinion, these people choose as their priority love and understanding to their LGBT siblings.

In the project “I am Here for You” can be found the voices of those who needed to be heard as well as those who were able to rise and triumph despite the prejudice, myths, and stereotypes of a less understanding society.