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As was said

by De Ket in Columns & Opinions , 24 July 2019

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

Dear Neighbors to the North, The first half of 2019 has come to an end. Following below are high-profile and abject quotes about our queer people in all GLBTQI forms in the Flemish media. Or how well-known and lesser-known Flemish people express their opinions about gays, (too) often unvarnished, if you ask me.

Jager Brandel
“The Football League condemns all forms of homophobic behavior. Statements made by Leandro Trossard are at odds with the values the Royal Belgian Soccer Association promotes, such as inclusion and tolerance. With these, Trossard also committed a violation of the code of conduct of the Red Devils.” (Top soccer player and captain Leandro Trossard of KRC Genk sang along when supporters on the bleachers chanted “All farmers are gays,” on

“Three times a day I was taken to a torture room. First, I was given electrical shocks, later they switched to water boarding. They stretched a cloth over my face and poured water over it, preventing me from breathing.” (Aslan, a Chechen gay asylum seeker testifies for the federal parliament about the torture of GLBTIQ people in his homeland, in “De Morgen.”)

Aaron Hanssens
“It is easier to be gay in Brugge then in Geluwe. But at work, I have not received any negative reactions. On the contrary, they even support me.” (Metal worker Aaron Hanssens is one of the Mister Gay Belgium finalists, in “Het Laatste Nieuws.”)

“We have nothing against lesbian, gay and bisexual people. The only question is whether they should be able to marry and have children. I think that is a bridge too far.” (Dominiek Sneppe, newly elected as federal member of parliament for the extreme right-wing Vlaams Belang, in “Het Laatste Nieuws.”)

“I was in relationship with a woman for two years, but it has ended. I now am in a relationship with a man. I am what you call bisexual. What Dominiek Sneppe says in nonsense: my party welcomes GLBTs. Including transgenders, by the way. Our chairman Tom Van Grieken has, in fact, imposed a ban on public speaking on her.” (Isabelle Vanherle, city councillor for Vlaams Belang in a reaction to the statement of her party colleague Dominiek Sneppe, above, on
Isabelle Vanherle

“I didn’t feel gay, but other people thought I was gay. As a result, I became unsure of myself and started to wonder whether I should perhaps figure it out. But if you ask me now, I would say I am straight.” (Tom Verboven is on trial at an Antwerp court for committing homicide on a thirty-seven-year-old gay man, after he had made advances, in “Het Laatste Nieuws.”)

Ruud Koopmans“Large majorities in Islamic countries support the idea that apostates and homosexuals deserve the death penalty.” (Sociologist Ruud Koopmans, in “Knack.”)

“If I don’t particularly care for seeing two homosexuals walking hand in hand, can I rely on my fundamental right not to witness this? No, because in a liberal state, their right to walk hand in hand is much more important.” (Othman El Hammouchi, author, in “Knack.”)

“Hopefully on the way back from school, your son will be offered a treat by someone and violently raped by a gay man, and then found in a ditch.” (An unpleasant reaction to a photo on the Facebook page of the murderer of Julie Van Espen, in “Knack.”)

Brandel“I decided to register myself, a person has to do something crazy in his life. The recording on January 10th went very well, and the holiday even better. Three days on Tenerife with 25 degrees was a treat. Spotting dolphins, jet skiing, what more could a person want? And romance? I’m not going to spill the beans.” (Brandel, who went looking for a boyfriend in a special episode of “Blind Date,” in “Het Laatste Nieuws.”)

“Why should I have to hide that I am gay? There is no reason to. There are always negative reactions, but most of them were positive. I don’t take the negative ones personal. I won’t let myself be smeared or be influenced by a few nasty comments.” (The sixteen-year-old top favourite of “The Voice,” Wannes Lacroix, on

Yours sincerely,

De Ket


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