Saturday, 21 July 2007

Eastern Officals vs. Western Gays

As you probably already know, the relationship between the gays and 'the rest' of society is a bit chilly in eastern europe. Usualy if here are gays on the street you find the surrounded by special police forces and opposed nazies and 'the rest' (and sometimes even the police).
However, listening to all this horror stories about the gay bashing in Moscow, Riga... I start to wonder what is with all other countries like Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and so on. This countries which are geographically and mentally tied between Russian, Afghanistan and China?
I assume the homophobia is outrageous there.
From this point of view, Russia is a liberal country ;)

So, here the story... last month I had a trip to Berlin with a minister from one of this mentioned middle asian countries. One day we had lunch at the Potsdamer Platz. This is the new center of Berlin, with the sony centre, an impressive glass and steel tower.
On the way the taxi driver warned me that a gay parade will pass the Potsdamer square and proceed to a place close to our hotel. Already then I had visions of the worst case... we running in front, behind us a queer, colorful CSD parade crowd behind us.
You have to picture this middle assian delegations as people which corpulent, small, bold, deeply conservation, they are real chauvinists and real fashionable is a black suit with black sunglasses. In short, the the natural opposite of homosexuals :)

Therefore I simply knew, I had to get them out of this place before the gays will arrive.
In strict correlation with Murphy's law it didn't work. The lunch went as expected, heavy German food, lot of German beer and a lot of schnapps (like german vodka). So this delegation wasn't hurrying at all. Finally the Minister wanted to take a look at the sony centre while the rest sat in a street cafe and took a nap.

Damn, and then it happend. The gay arrived and like a wave they came over the potsdamer platz. My minister barricaded himself up in the 3rd floor of the sony center and stared in disbelieve down on the gay crowd.
The rest of the delegation woke up down there and found them self surrounded by gays.
There was panic in their eyes :)
I played the messenger betweens minister and his delegation/troops. After some times we dared the prisonbreak. Meanwhile the streets where blocked, no taxi, and the subway filled with gays. So we sneak out and I tried to find a save route. Like Morphius with Neo.
This minister delegation was so shocked by all this tall, healthy, bodybuilders gays which sometimes just wore leather pants and leather bracelet's.

Sure, I made a serious face all the time. But deep inside I had a lot of fun about the clash of cultures. Hey, when do you end up with an ultra-conservative Minister in a gay parade :)
Life can be so interesting!

About this blog

This blog is a close up on Russia and the CIS. I am not giving you the big picture.
I would anyway fail. I am too long here. So beauty & decay,
education & corruption, high culture & kafka-style administration are meanwhile normal for me.
So this blog is like a painting from from Roy Lichtenstein... when you are with your nose on it :) You will just see the dots, not gaining any understanding of the whole.

Most things will look strange in this blog. But you can be sure, I would not live here, if there would not be a lot of great things here. Unfortunately, the weired stories are more interesting to tell & read.
Don’t judge Russia on this blog, if you want to know the country, come over and take a look by your own.

Gilles