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Letter from Brussels: As Was Said...

by De Ket in Columns & Opinions , 08 februari 2015

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

Dear Neighbors to the North, A new year. A new overview of the half-yearly quotes about the gay community in the Flemish press. I wish you all excellent health in the New Year. But it is up to you to have fun!

“Sven, straight or gay: you cycle alone to the finish line.” (Writing on a banner next to the cycle track on which professional racing cyclist Sven Nys was cycling. Earlier, he tweeted that he isn’t gay, in “Het Nieuwsblad”)

Alberto VermicelliAlberto Vermicelli isn’t gay.” (Flemish opera singer Koen Crucke plays the hairdresser Alberto in the children’s series “Samson en Gert” and responds to accusations that the character, like Koen himself, is gay, in “Het Nieuwsblad”)

“The stereotypical gay, the busty blonde, and the know-it-all.” (Opinion piece on the popular daily television program “Komen Eten,” and why the program needs stereotypes, in “De Morgen”)

“I don’t want to be a racist, but certain experiences make it very difficult.” (Raf Loyens, after several homophobic incidents, in an opinion piece in “De Morgen”)

“No one in our primary school thinks my being gay is important.” (Headmaster Ludwig De Meyer, in “De Morgen”)

“No punishment can dry my tears.” (Hassan Jarfi, father of the murdered Ihsani Jarfi from Luik, a victim of a homophobic murder, at the start of the trial against the accused, in “De Morgen”)

Johan Bonny“The Church benefits from letting diversity come to the surface.” (Antwerp bishop Johan Bonny, who believes that the Catholic Church should accept homosexuality, on

“The Church should show more respect to co-habiting homosexuals and divorced couples.” (Cardinal emeritus Godfried Danneels, on

Mark TijsmansIn sports, homosexuality is still seen as a form of leprosy.” (Columnist Hugo Camps, in “De Morgen”)

“He abused me like a homeless cocaine addict. I thought he was a friend, but he wanted sex and deeply offended me as a Muslim. He deserved to die like that. It was punishment from God.” (Offender Said Mahmoud at his trial for the homophobic murder of Aimé Mafouta Matondo, in “Het Laatste Nieuws”)

“I’m not gay or bi, but I’m not straight either.” (Flemish actor, singer and author Mark Tijsmans on

“Bisexuals rather not discuss their orientation at work.” Results of a Dutch survey published in “Het Laatste Nieuws”)

“Taboo on homosexuality does not mean that all Muslims are homophobic.” (Wouter Van Bellingen, managing director of the Minority Forum in a column on

“The orientation of an individual says nothing about his or her capacities as a teacher.” (Flemish MP for Open VLD Jean-Jacques De Gucht on the commotion around a gay teacher who was asked by the school management to be silent about his homosexuality, in “De Morgen”)

Yours sincerely

De Ket



In the New Issue of Gay News, 319, March 2018

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