Zilele trecute m-a contactat un tip, André, student la o universitate din Bruxelles. Tipul e gay și fost în România prin Noiembrie să facă o cercetare asupra politicii si societatii civile. A descoperit DarkQ și acum a dorit să îl ajut cu câteva răspunsuri legate de drepturile gay-ilor in România întrucât în cercetarea pe care o face dorește să includă și aceste date.
Așa că, io și cu Gaybriel, ne-am pus pe scris. Ce a ieșit? Vezi mai jos.
How did you came up with the idea of blogging about Romanian Gay life?
Back in 2007 I was living in a small town where there was nothing close to what we usually call “gay scene”. Not that me and my partner desperately needed the presence of gay people in our lives, but sometimes you feel incomplete without the possibility to have gay friends with whom to share your thoughts. Oh, and of course there are certain things that only a gay friend would understand.
While I was lacking this gay communication thingy, I came up with the idea of creating DarkQ, a weblog. The concept slowly developed and more and more gay people wanted to write about different LGBT issues they were facing.
I see you have some very interesting interviews. Would you imagine it would become as big as it is now?
Yes, we have many interesting articles and posts. All these were written by several hundred authors who registered in those 5 years and who felt that DarkQ is the place to be. We also had many parents that were seeking some answers related to their gay children.
At first I did not imagine that DarkQ will become what is today, but this trend can only make me feel happy.
Do you realize you may be helping younger people that are just now discovering their sexuality?
Of course I do realise. A blog like this one would have been of great help back in the 2000s when I was an adolescent and I was wondering about the reason as to why I was looking after boys. The Internet wasn’t what it is today. I don’t think the concept of blogging existed either.
How would you characterize the gay blogging atmosphere in Romania?
First, a gay blog being a niche I could say that it separates itself automatically from the blogging community. We frequently receive comments from homophobes to various articles that are not very nice. But from my point of view the real problem lies in the fact that competition exists in this field as well.
Usually gay blog owners don’t link back to you, don’t mention you when citing the source of an article; only so that they don’t help. The same goes with social networks – everybody is on their own, which is a pity when LGBT organisations are supposed to fight for “unity”.
Do you consider yourself a gay activist?
No, absolutely not. I do what I do out of pleasure. If by doing this I trigger even a small change in someone’s way of thinking, if others see that we’re people with a brain and we’re not “abnormal” like many heterosexual believe – then I’m happy.
Do you have any support of ACCEPT or any other organization?
No. The pro-LGBT organisations/foundations in Romania (Accept, PSI and Act-Q) have their own path, their own projects that are run as they see fit.
I was never supported by any organisation. I could say that it was rather the opposite since DarkQ is a blog that prefers to call things by their name, which doesn’t appeal to many people.
Do you take part in events organization?
Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. Blogging being a hobby for me, time doesn’t allow me to participate to every event organised;
In what concerns the history of LGBT rights in Romania, do you think the repeal of article 200 was enough to promote tolerance?
It was enough to set grounds for it but not promote it. Of course, it was a good and rightful thing to do. However, that didn’t stop insults, beatings nor changed the opinion about being gay of the general public. There’s still a long way to go until we reach “tolerance”.
Is the Romanian Society as closed as it is perceived outside?
Yes it is. Romania is a very conservative country and this conservatism is helped by BOR (Romanian Orthodox Church) and the New Right (an extreme right political party) which strongly oppose every attempt to open people’s eyes by even just a little and to make them more tolerant towards their own kind.
The advertised “right thing” is the family with children, humbleness and lack of any strong personal opinion about something.
Why do you think Romania doesn’t have such a progressive approach towards LGBT community? As for example it is not in the Constitution the right to sexual orientation.
Again, conservatism plays a big role in this. So does orthodox religion which here is extremely popular. People almost fear of being perceived as not religious by others, even if their beliefs towards LGBT don’t actually clash with being religious. As such, governments tend to postpone LGBT legislation change or strip out of a constitutional change LGBT specific wording fearing that they will be voted down at the next elections or being considered themselves gay.
How is it to be gay in Romania? How do people meet and where? Is the internet seen as the safest way of meeting people? And if you are in Bucharest hand by hand with someone, what do you think would be the reaction of most people? Would you be afraid?
Tough question. To be gay in Romania is an adventure in all aspects. Many still hide themselves and are embarrassed by whom they really are. Others marry the opposite sex only for appearances. Too few are those who accept their true selves. As such, the Internet remains for many the only viable possibility (from their point of view) to express their sexuality.
And maybe for a good reason since there were cases when gay people were insulted or even beaten up. The life o a gay person in Romania bounces between dating websites and gay clubs.
During my stay in Romania I had a conference in ACCEPT and I was told gay people should show they are different and be respected for it.
Don’t you think that saying “Gay people are different and should be accepted as so” is a contradiction? How can LGBT base their speech of equality in rights and duties based on difference in the specific context of traditional Romania?
Yeah, you are right. I strongly agree that as long as we’re saying we are “different” we practically contribute to being discriminated.
You see, from my point of view LGBT organisations in Romania lack people trained in sociology or sexual psychology. You cannot appear on TV and launch in a debate arguing that we are different and the people are close minded for not accepting something else.
I would like to see representatives of the gay community in Romania that did their homework before going and self proclaiming a gay community spokesman.
Do you think all the progress made and even the speech of your President, in 2004, supporting Gay marriage was just a game to have less problems in entering EU?
Entering the EU changed a lot of laws and made a lot of people shift gears prior to that. From this point of view the president made a lot of statements that were meant to show the EU that Romania was ready and worthy to be a member state. All the progress however? Unlikely. Progress doesn’t come just from the government or the head of state. It also comes from regular people like us. Writers of DarkQ didn’t mean to have less problems in entering the EU, of course 🙂
How do you see the future of LGBT in Romania? I would like you to give a positive perspective of the country, as it has its plus also 🙂
I think that progress is sometimes blurred by what people perceive as “correct” or “proper”. People need to understand that love doesn’t have gender preferences; that homosexuals are nothing less than heterosexuals. Romania needs to fight to reach a level where gay people have the courage to assume their sexuality, to get out in the open and not be ashamed of who they are.
But overall, things are moving in the right direction.