Sunday, September 11, 2011
German Tourists in Georgia: Homophobia in Its Grandeur
Once again news fail to cover an important incident, though everybody is savoring rumors. Two gay German toursists were thrown into the river.
Rumor has it, that two tourists explored mountains and met some Georgians from Tbilisi, who rushed to prove our famed hospitality and made a big “supra” for them. They drank together for several hours, finally approaching the love toast to which the tourists responded with a kiss. Seeing this, hosts sprang to their feet, beat the couple, tied them up and threw them into the river. Poor Germans were finally fished out by locals down the river. They left the country immediately and this case was not reported to the police.
I want to scream and shout, but so far everyone I talk to keeps saying the same thing: didn’t these tourists see it coming?
Let’s put aside the fact whether or not it is justified to drown gays who know they shouldn’t kiss in public and still do so, the mountain culture has its traditions and David the Builder and so on, and let’s discuss the following question: didn’t they see it coming? And somehow, I think that the answer is “no”—otherwise these two willingly embarked on a suicide mission.
May I state that this indecisive stance is the worst problem in Georgia? This hypocrisy, falsehood, double and triple standards?
Let’s decide who we want to be, what our values are, let’s finally draft our moral code and create a corresponding legislature! Let’s stop lying to ourselves!
How where those guys supposed to know that their kissing would result in Lynching unless they already had friends in Georgia? Is our legislature prohibiting gay relations in Georgia? Does it claim that Georgia discriminates against basic human right and that those who violate them will be punished? Is any information available about Georgians’ views on homosexuality? Which tourist website gives any relevant informative about how to be culturally sensitive in Georgia? That you should not sneeze without covering your mouth, that you shouldn’t make moves on your friend’s sister, that you should not flirt in bars with unknown men? Is there any document anywhere on the web that would explain Georgian culture beyond our “hospitality”, “respect for the guests”, “beautiful nature” and “good food and wine”? How long can we force feed these Soviet-originated myths to the world?
People have been arguing that by using common sense, these men could’ve figured out the rules of conduct in a conservative chirstian country. One might argue that Italy is also a christian country, but two months ago my friend attened huge gay pride in Rome and this month his is flying to the biggest LGBT event of this year in Milan – so, sorry, but country’s religious background is not enough to make assumptions about the everyday culture.
There should be some information available on what is offensive and with the exception of one-year old TLG blogs, there is none on the web!
Let’s stop this once and for all. Why do we have a kinda liberal legislature, the majority of the population is conservative? We are striving towards EU and NATO cause we believe that’s the way to economic prosperity. Why isn’t anybody explaining to us, to the society, that EU and NATO integration means not only change of legislature but also change in attitudes, a new set of values?
I am sick and tired of this dichotomy. Either have the balls to declare: yes, we are homophobic, xenophobic, patriarchal, theologian society and stick to it, defend your values and have corresponding legislature, or install democratic values through law enforcement, education and gradual change of attitudes. And stop lying! Georgia is not a democratic country and Georgians are not democratic people! Democratic people do not throw tourists in the river no matter how offended they feel! And maybe, if we say the truth for change, if we stopped pretending, maybe those tourists will choose to go somewhere else and 1. Georgians will keep on driniking un-offended 2. German tourists will avoid getting drown in the river.
Damn it, they deserve to know where they are going and we deserve to know where we are living!
P.S. Tired of arguing with people, I tried finding info by googling “gay-friendly tbilisi” and “homophobia in tbilisi” to see red flags. Unfortunately, it takes a long a nd rigid search to make any sense of the info, cause many web-sites keep siting Georgian legislature and openess comapred to the rest of the region. You can find negative info, but you really have to look. Generally, there is just absence of info, negative or positive.
P.S.S. Phallic symbols in Tbilisi. Stole my hubby’s pic.