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Letter from Brussels: As Was Said...

by De Ket in Columns & Opinions , 28 januari 2017

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

Dear Neighbors to the North, Now that the obligatory New Year’s wishes are soon a thing of the past, it is time for the traditional short review of the last semester of a rather eventful 2016, with some striking statements made by famous and less famous Belgians in the Flemish media.

“Your T-shirt is gayer than me and my friends together.” (Statement made by TV style guru Jani Kazaltzis in his program “Zo Man Zo Vrouw,” on the T-shirt a straight man was wearing.)

“It’s not my thing anymore.” (Ludo Smits, founder of gay disco Red & Blue in Antwerp, after leaving his business in the hands of his business partner, in “Het Nieuwsblad”)

“I wanted to pop the question earlier in his natural habitat, the Eurovision Song Contest stage. Unfortunately, the organization read my email far too late. But because Jens is a true fairytale expert, amusement park the Efteling proved a much better alternative.” (Robin Vissenaekens, JOE Chief of Radio and TV presenter asks his friend Jens Geerts, TV presenter of OUTtv, to marry him, on

“I do not want to be depicted as ‘the gay one.’” (Gilles Van Bouwel, alias “De Mol” in TV program “De Mol,” on

“Gay men will be allowed to donate blood in the future if they have abstained from sexual contact with other men for a period of twelve months.” (Social Affairs and Health Minister Maggie De Block on donating blood, in “De Morgen”)

“We can no longer claim that no other forms of love are possible than heterosexual marriage. We also see such love in a man and a woman living together unmarried, with gay couples, and with lesbian couples. The latter can also strive for an exclusive and lasting relationship.” (Bishop Johan Bonny about his new book “Mag ik?,” on

“To Catholic standards, the annoying sayings and writings of Bonny create a public scandal, they are an annoyance to pious ears, absurd and downright blasphemous. The Church cannot bless what God has forbidden.” (The conservative Catholic organization Pro Familia, in a complaint with the Vatican against the bishop of Antwerp, Johan Bonny, in response to his statements on homosexuality in his latest book, in the “Gazet van Antwerpen”)

“Today we have, in my opinion, a beautiful family with several layers. That is what makes it special and unique. It is a family with two daddies, a family with foster and adopted children, a mixed family. Not something you see every day.” (Lorin Parys, Flemish parliamentarian for the N-VA and standing for mayor of the student city of Leuven in 2018, in “De Morgen”)

“Death to gays.” (Testimonies by GLBT refugees while participating in the Antwerp Pride in August for the very first time, in “De Morgen”)

“Sometimes princesses love princesses.” (Lyrics from a song on the latest CD of all female band K3. It is the first time K3 sings about same-sex love, in “Het Nieuwsblad”)

“Guys, change your tune, be creative. I am more than just gay.” (Response of the forty-year-old crooner Christoff on a clip in the satirical program “Tegen De Sterren Op,” making it seem as if he were singing: “Who are you to judge my anus,” in “Het Belang van Limburg”)

“It was an absolute record edition. In these times, many people apparently need a message of love, tolerance and togetherness. I think we all have shown that we do not allow anyone to put us back in the closet.” (Wilfried Eetezone, organizer of Antwerp Gay Pride, in “Het Laatste Nieuws”)

Yours sincerely,

De Ket



published Jul 2014       

published Jun 2017       


In the New Issue of Gay News, 333, mei 2019

Brussel Pride
May 17-19, 2019

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