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Letter from Brussels: As Was Said

by De Ket in Columns & Opinions , 23 juli 2016

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

Dear Neighbors to the North, The first six months of 2016 are behind us now. As is customary, a short overview of some quotes by famous and less famous Belgians in the Flemish media over the last semester. Have a great summer everyone!

“I did not want to be homosexual. I was always pondering death, even in my earliest memories. I feel like a prisoner in my own body.” (Testimony of the 39-year-old Belgian Sébastien who wants to file a request for euthanasia because he does not accept his homosexual orientation, in “Het Nieuwsblad”)

“Muslim and gay. And proudly so.” (Mister Gay Belgium finalist Abdellah Bijat, in “Het Laatste Nieuws”)

“Muslims cannot keep ignoring homosexuals. I did not only break off my relationship with my family, but with the entire community. The feeling of quilt after sex only subsided after years and years. (Testimony of the 30-year-old Jaouad Alloul, a Moroccan from Antwerp on the taboo on homosexuality in the Islamic world, in “De Morgen”)

“Advances in science, and the continuing social and ethical discussions were reason enough to evaluate the existing measures and see if changes needed to be made.” (Health Minister Maggie De Block is looking into the possibility of lifting the lifelong ban on blood donations by men who have sex with men, in “De Morgen”)

“You want to go to Syria? Mug a homosexual.” (Syria volunteer who is arrested in Brussels states that recruiters made it obligatory to mug homosexuals, in “De Standaard”)

“Mbark Boussoufa is perhaps gay. I must be terrible to be gay and a professional soccer player.” (Flemish singer Guido Belcanto on the exclusive male “court” of soccer player Mbark Boussoufa, in the Radio 1 program of Annemie Peeters)

“My mother knew before I did, mothers seem to sense these things.” (20-year-old Flemish actor Jelle Florizoone comes out of the closet, in weekly “Story”)

“Typical bisexual animals and even transvestites (animals pretending to have the other gender) can be seen in the animal world. In some species gay couples bond for life, for others it is temporary behavior to find favor or strengthen bonds.” (Nicole Cambre, Belgian photographer and barrister, who photographed two mating lions earlier this year, on

“Often at my internship they would only dare to ask if I’m gay the second time teaching the class. They wonder if it is possible to be gay and teach Religion. Yes it is! I could also suggest that the Church is the biggest employer of gay men if you look at it in a cheeky way. The students do not seem to be bothered by it.” (Not only was the 24-year-old Tim Van Bael a candidate at a Mister Gay Belgium election, he is a professional teacher of religion)

“What makes that homosexual think I would want to speak to him?” (Jacques Brel’s response to David Bowie’s request to meet, according to Jacques Brel’s biographer, in “Het Nieuwsblad”)

“I’m sure there are gay men in professional soccer, but they are afraid to come out. That is a shame, but also understandable. You would need a strong personality. I think I would come out, as you probably get more support than you would suspect.” (Soccer analyst Imke Courtois, in “Het Laatste Nieuws”)

Yours sincerely,

De Ket



In the New Issue of Gay News, 328, December 2018

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