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04 April 2009 @ 10:25 pm
Homophobia and unambiguous hate speech on Bulgarian TV  

No, it wasn't that TV, it was another private national Bulgarian TV this time - Nova TV, and its owner is  Modern Times Group.

I've been putting off posting this entry for a few days now because it is extremely difficult for me to compose it.

So, who are the participants in this TV programme?

The oh-so-blonde giggling-like-a-schoolgirl host is Lora Krumova.  For starters, there is that noun "homosexualist" that somebody invented during the Communist era or earlier, as if it were a profession or ideology, but no one says "heterosexualist". So our charming blonde host kept talking of "homosexualists [masculine gender] and lesbians".  But she behaved more or less decently most of the time. 

Boyan Rasate (other transcriptions from the Cyrillic are also possible) , the gentleman you can see before playing the video, is the leader of the Bulgarian National Alliance, a fringe nazi-type political party. Rasate is not his real name, it is a political pseudonym.  The real Rasate was a medieval prince in Bulgaria. So if you doubt this gentleman's sanity, I can't blame you.  Boyan Rasate became famous (or infamous) for getting arrested last summer for interfering with the Pride Parade in Sofia, and he was on probation for six months, of which he seems to be very proud as a true "martyr".  Another thing he is (in)famous for is his claim that "homosexuality and pedophilia go hand in hand" - sounds familiar? I din't even count how many times he used the word "perverted" in this video.

The other gentleman, Plamen Hristov, is some kind of ally to Rasate, generally unknown in Bulgaria, and another candidate for getting arrested and sued (these people seem to be very keen on it, no kidding).

Their opponents, referred to as "eminent homosexualists of the capital" by the host, who were in fact some participants in the Big Brother reality show, simply didn't come. Please spare me the effort of translating her response and trying to find the exact degree of offensiveness in English.


My translation of a the most "interesting" (italics mine):
3:13 - 5:50

Lora Krumova, "I don't know if you know, but they are organizing a parade again.  There are going to be jolly people in the streets this year again."
Boyan Rasate, "It is too early to say if there is really going to be a parade or not."
Lora Krumova, "Why, is it painful for you?" *laughs*
Boyan Rasate, "No, it is not painful for us, but it can become painful for them."
Lora Krumova, "Did you get to collisions last time, or were you just offending them? Because I can see that this time you are proposing serious..."  *dramatic pause, obviously doesn't want to say the word*
Plamen Hristov, "We are not proposing anything at all; we think that the Bulgarians are intelligent enough to oppose such perverted phenomena."
Lora Krumova, "How exactly should they oppose and what is perverted?"
Plamen Hristov, "Well, the footage from last year's gay parade showed how."**
Boyan Rasate, "And the footage from the gay parades all over Europe show an extreme decline of all values. And a demonstration, public demonstration, of an abnormal sexual orientation, or not generally acceptable."
Lora Krumova, "A different one; why are you calling it abnormal?"
Boyan Rasate "Because if it were normal, there wouldn't be man and woman in Nature, there would only be homosexuals, and we wouldn't reproduce this way, but by some other method, by drops[?] or in vitro."
Lora Krumova, "So, what are you thinking of doing?"
Boyan Rasate, "Now,t he situatiton is a little different this year because I don't know what exactly  ...  In fact we know what the goals of the gay parade were,  the gay parade was meant as a base for further demands by the homosexuals - we say that with the [proposed] changes to the Family Code, we saw it with them wanting to adopt children and so on, those were their goals. Our goal was to stop that gay parade,  but something happened that we didn't expect..."
Lora Krumova, "You got arrested?"
Boyan Rasate, "That part we expected."
Lora Krumova, *laughing* Maybe you even hoped [to get arrested]?
Boyan Rasate, "No, we expected it, we didn't hope. But what happened was that last year before the gay parade, in Bulgaria , so to say, the various little nationalist and patriotic groups were rather divided and in the day of the gay parade acted separately, unorganized and every man for himself."
Lora Krumova: "OK, what are the gays and lesbians doing to you?"
Boyan Rasate *ignoring her* "The interesting thing after the gay parade is that the so-called national resistance at the end of the day managed to sit at the table, overcame certain differences, and if this year there is a gay parade, believe me, this time those people who want to impose on us their "different" sexual behaviour will encounter not a divided group or little groups, but a fairly well organized mass of people."

**see the explanation to the YouTube video of Rasate getting arrested (the link in my introduction), it's in good enough English.

Ecxuse me for the long entry, and my reluctance to use a lJ cut. I'll write about what protest action is being taken in another entry.

Note: If you have a blog outside LiveJournal, please use the Open ID option to comment. Any comments from anonymous Bulgarian haters will be deleted. I can even disable anonymous comments in general if things get too bad.  And I can ban anyone I choose from further commenting. My blog, my rules!

P.S. Here is some more in my Bulgarian friend bgoberon 's other blog.
Alexfailuresofine on April 4th, 2009 08:59 pm (UTC)
"homosexuality and pedophilia go hand in hand"

Mm, someone's stuck in the 1950's! How cute.

I doubt something like this would really fly on TV here. That isn't to say there aren't plenty of people who would agree with it, because there are, but... yeah, don't think it would ever see the light of day on TV.
Darinatilia_tomentosa on April 4th, 2009 09:31 pm (UTC)
I posted it unfinished by mistake, just wait a little for the full version, with "subtle" threats with physical violence and all!
Darinatilia_tomentosa on April 4th, 2009 09:44 pm (UTC)
Alexfailuresofine on April 4th, 2009 09:59 pm (UTC)
So what exactly are they getting at? Are they going to assault people? Murder?

How is a pride parade "imposing" sexual orientation on another person? Are they forced to attend? Is it being demanded that straight people become giant flaming homos?

These kinds of people are so ridiculous it's barely worth even acknowledging them. Except these particular people seem to be implying that Something Bad will happen, which has to be taken seriously. I'm assuming it's not legal there to assault/kill someone just because they're gay, right?
Darinatilia_tomentosa on April 4th, 2009 10:21 pm (UTC)
Assaulting people for whatever reason is illegal here, and the police did their job well at last years' parade (news in in Bulgarian): http://dnes.dir.bg/2008/06/28/gallery3145508_0.html
You can enlarge the photos by clicking on them. The little girl is Rasate's then 4-yer-old daughter watching her father getting arrested (the idiot took her there although he knew that his adherents had been preparing for violence).

There is a parliamentary election this summer, and "politicians" of this kind are trying desperately to gain popularity.

I can see comments of the "imposing your sexual orientation" type all the time in the gay and lesbian "zone" of the Bulgarian blogosphere, usually by Heterosexual Male Idiots who keep showing off their heterosexuality as part of their "macho" behaviour, but don't even realize it. So they say, I'm not showing off my sexual orientation, why are you showing off yours, you perverts!
(Deleted comment)
bgoberonbgoberon on April 5th, 2009 09:07 am (UTC)
I truly hope so. Unfortunately, with them being so loud and seeing a very vocal portion of the people (I don't know if it's the majority or not) who advocate violence against gays. Darina has covered some of the recent ridiculousness. I think some of it is like the free republic people in the US, if you are familiar with them.
Darinatilia_tomentosa on April 5th, 2009 12:50 pm (UTC)
My people are generally peaceful (which is why we have survived 19 years of post-communism without starting a civil war, which is quite an achievement here on the Balkans). But homophobia is becoming somehow fashionable as it pours freely from some of the most popular TV channels. It's not that Bulgarian citizens will all become physically violent to the gays, but the message they get is that it's all right to feel disgusted with those "perverts" and view them as something less than human beings. Add that to the teaching of the communist era that homosexuality is a "perversion" (this very word was used in what little literature was available on sexual matters, and even my generation grew up with it), and you get a nasty picture.

Rasate's people are the football hooligan type, and some of them are literally football hooligans.
bgoberonbgoberon on April 5th, 2009 09:04 am (UTC)
Last year they threw Molotov Cocktails at the parade. Two of them. They missed the parade and the policemen by about 10 feet. I don't know if they missed on purpose or their marksmanship (or markspersonship), like their logic, is crappy. I do hope they missed on purpose.

In any case, I don't understand why so many people fall for such violent tactics, or think that they have a place at the round table of discussions.
Chris, the ShirtlifterBearshirtlifterbear on April 5th, 2009 04:47 am (UTC)

Nothing like the "not-so-subtle" threat of violence to ruin a parade!


He's terrifying!
Darinatilia_tomentosa on April 5th, 2009 12:12 pm (UTC)
And they were only talking about a hypothetical parade that no one had actually planned! But his people (they are the football hooligan type) did cause trouble last year (see bgoberon's reply to failuresofine above). And some of them made a point of getting arrested to acquire a "martyr" image.

Photos from last year's Bulgarian news: http://dnes.dir.bg/2008/06/28/gallery3145508_0.html

You can enlarge the photos by clicking on them. The little girl is Rasate's then 4-yer-old daughter watching her father getting arrested (the idiot took her there although he knew that his adherents had been preparing for violence). There is Rasate himself being arrested in the next photo.
bgoberonbgoberon on April 5th, 2009 09:11 am (UTC)
By the way, I find it ironic that Mr. Stankov (Is he legally Rasate?) took his very little daughter there, after bitterly complaining that such an event is toxic to the kids. I think he perfectly illustrated that those are unfounded fears. The parents can easily explain to the kids what's going on.

Isn't it also funny that he wants to adhere to the orthodox christian "values" of Bulgarians, which apparently in his mind include stoning and burning the queers, while he took on the name of the Bulgarian prince who tried to ban Christianity in Bulgaria and return in to paganism.
Darinatilia_tomentosa on April 5th, 2009 12:22 pm (UTC)
OF COURSE he is not legally Rasate, but few people know him by his real name.

I don't expect any logical behaviour form a person like him. Naming himself after a medieval prince was crazy enough. And I don't think many people remember who the original Rasate was, so the irony of somebody taking on his name AND defending Christian values passes unnoticed. Did you notice that he contradicted himself several times during the TV interview? I just didn't have the patience to translate the whole bullshit.
bgoberonbgoberon on April 5th, 2009 12:35 pm (UTC)
To be honest, I was so appalled that I have largely forgotten his screech. None of it made much sense anyway. So I don't remember specific contradictions.
Darinatilia_tomentosa on April 5th, 2009 12:58 pm (UTC)
He offered some condescencion for those 3% of the homosexuals who were born this way (his claim) as long as they don't "advertize" it, but no mercy for the other 97% who chose homosexuality because it was fashionable or something, and are now trying to recruit other people into it.

He also admitted that there is some homosexuality among animals, but in his view it is unnatural because they cannot breed this way.

He is just crazy.
bgoberonbgoberon on April 5th, 2009 01:13 pm (UTC)
That he is. Crazy and dangerous.
uneasytruce on April 5th, 2009 05:16 pm (UTC)
It took some courage for you to post this, and I'm glad you did.

There are terrible people everywhere. We have plenty of them in the US, also.
Darinatilia_tomentosa on April 5th, 2009 06:07 pm (UTC)
Well, nobody threatened ME with physical violence, so I'm not that courageous. I just had to struggle with my disgust to translate that.

Those people aren't just talking, they mean "business". Getting arrested last year hasn't taught them anything. And it worries me that such "subtle" threats can pass as something normal on a national TV.

Another thing that worries me is that homophobia is becoming fashionable here as it keeps coming in all forms from the most popular TV channels.

There are Members of Parliament saying "don't talk about gay marriage and raising children because this is a patriarchal society" (that was on another TV programme about a certain lesbian and her "scandalous" baby, but I didn't manage to translate and post it before THIS was aired).
Sid Knidjawnbc on April 5th, 2009 09:48 pm (UTC)
Wow, I'm shocked. But I so very much appreciate your efforts to share these matters with us. Too many people know too little about Bulgaria.

Homosexualist has been used in the US since the 1970s. Gore Vidal, himself gay, coined the term to describe those who claim a homosexual (or gay) identity. He considered himself someone whose desire for other men wasn't a defining trait of his identity. For him homosexualist communicated those who sought to foment a homosexual movement/community.
Darinatilia_tomentosa on April 5th, 2009 10:18 pm (UTC)
It looks like there is going to be a lawsuit against the TV this time. Things weren't as bad before on the Bulgarian TV channels (except for this same Rasate's campaign against the pride parade last year), but they are getting worse and worse, and homophobia has somehow become fashionable.

Photos from last year's Bulgarian news: http://dnes.dir.bg/2008/06/28/gallery3145508_0.html
You can enlarge the photos by clicking on them. The little girl is Rasate's then 4-year-old daughter watching her father getting arrested (the idiot took her there although he knew that his adherents had been preparing for violence). There is Rasate himself being arrested in the next photo.
And the YouTube video of Rasate getting arrested (the link in my introduction) has subtitles and an explanation in good enough English (It's not Rasate himself who calls his people hooligans in the brackets, it's the author's comments. All else is an accurate translation of what is being said.)

"Homosexualist" was just the word (noun) for any homosexual person (especially male) that was used in the communist era, and it irritates the hell out of the Bulgarian gay community. To make things worse, "homosexualism" was described as a "perversion" in what little literature there was on sexual matters back then, and I grew up with that idea myself. It is interesting that bisexuality was never mentioned as a possibility, so there were no such terms as "bisexualist" and "bisexualism".