Monday, 12 June 2017

FLOB-bing on Sofia Gay Pride

So, Sofia Pride took place this last weekend and it was great! I watched the live stream from Bangkok. If you don't remember what a small-scale pride with 3000-people (that's a lot for Bulgaria, the biggest so far!) and not yet appropriated by corporations looks like, check out the latest videos on the Sofia Pride Facebook page. And this despite the announced neo-Nazi event to 'clean up Sofia streets of garbage' planned for the same place and same time as the Pride, which Sofia Municipality had allowed. 

See, friends, Sofia Pride is not really supported, or even acknowledged as a thing, by politicians in Bulgaria. Not by the mayor or city council. In fact, both the right-wing parties and the socialist party (which means something different in Bulgaria) actively opposed it. Several foreign ambassadors and the vice-mayor of Amsterdam were there. 

But that's not the what this post is about. It's about the musings of FLOB - defined by the Oxford Dictionaries as 'a piece of spittle and mucus that has been spat out' but used here as First Lady of Bulgaria or, in other words, the wife of Bulgarian President Rumen Radev - about the Pride. Apparently she shared these on her Facebook page and they were picked up by the media (for example, here) a couple of days later. I don't even want to comment on those musings, so I'll just offer a translation of her post here for you to judge her and the general level of political and social 'thought' in Bulgaria...

I took our six-year-old cat Charlie to the vet - just a routine check-up for flees and ticks. And just like that, out of nowhere, the vet asked if I wanted him checked for feline AIDS. I was shocked! I never even thought this disease affects cats. I asked him, and if the result is positive, what do we do then? He replied, nothing, you'll just know. There's no cure. I asked, is it infectious for people, for dogs? No, said the nice doctor, it's transmitted only through sex, among cats. 

Somehow by association I thought about the Pride and I hoped that the participants remember, just like that, among other things, to conduct an information and prevention campaign about HIV/AIDS, even if only with leaflets. Just because the statistics for 2016 show that 39% of new infections happened via heterosexual contact, 49% of new infections via homosexual contact and 12% via intravenous drug use. 

And the pride will be seen by many adolescent men and women and young children. 

And speaking of young children, I remembered that joke about Holmes and Watson: 
- What's that noise on the street, John? 
- Gay pride, sir. 
- What do they want? 
- Same-sex love, sir. 
- But who forbids them from having it, John?
- Nobody, sir!
- Then why are they shouting? 

You know the answer. Imagine if this conversation takes place between a mother and her child... Actually, to me, the Pride means to show that these people want to express their courage and even pride that they are different. This is worthy of respect! Brave, breaking the stereotypes, colourful and happy, all of them in one way or another gone under the rainbow. I have many such friends and we have very good relationships and a lot of respect for each other. Everyone is entitled to their choices. As long as they don't hurt anyone. 

I have nothing against homosexuals, bisexuals, transgenders and their derivatives. I'm against their pretension for difference. 

Dear Pride-goers, please don't forget the fact that we are all different. Regardless of whether we have hetero or homo orientation. DNA is the same only in the case of identical twins and even then not always. In all our veins runs a code different from that of our neighbour.

I respect you but please don't overdo it! Nobody has forbidden you anything! You are just as discriminated against as Bulgarian pensioners, for example. As mothers with multiple children. As hetero-oriented people, even. (Why don't we organise a Pride of heterosexuals, eh?)

If you really want to be more useful in society, next time, apart from the pink pompoms on your drums, organise some leaflets about HIV/AIDS prevention, risk groups and the statistics in the country and the world. I'm just giving you an idea, so that it becomes more meaningful for all of us.

Yes, life is too short to be taken seriously. But new generations come after us that we need to educate, inform, so that they can make the right choices.
P.S. Actually, I'm wondering if you, who are calling for tolerance and recognition, realised even for a moment that the day of your Pride was supposed to be a day of mourning, of humility and repentance. Because a military man died in times of peace. And became one with the rainbow (your professed symbol). This was a tragedy that filled our hearts with sadness and a lot of anger. Now is the time, I think, to be more Bulgarian than open-minded cosmopolitans. Nothing personal. 

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