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Bulgarian Gay Pop Star Says Growing Homophobia Behind Move (Video)

Bulgarian Gay Pop Star Says Growing Homophobia Behind Move (Video)

The famous Bulgarian openly gay popstar and TV presenter Azis (Азис) is moving because of what he says is increasing homophobia and racism in Bulgaria.

He is regarded as the king of the Bulgarian pop-folk style known as ‘chalga,’ which is popular throughout the region as well as in Spain and the Middle East.

Azis is known for his exuberant personality and colorful personal style. He’s regarded in Bulgaria and the region as a “gay icon.”

Says Novinite:

Even little children in Bulgaria know that Azis is a male singer, who wears pompous dresses and fake eyelashes, makes provocative hip-shaking, sings lewd lyrics with oriental motifs and pretends to have sex with other men onstage.

But this hasn’t stopped him personally suffering double discrimination as both a Romany person (gypsy) and gay.

He’s also used his high profile media image to support campaigns for equality and against racism. In 2006, he held a wedding ceremony with boyfriend, Niki Kitaetsa (which isn’t legally recognized in Bulgaria). He also staged a kissing campaign against homophobia that sparked the ire of then-current mayor of Sofia and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov, who ordered billboards showing Azis kissing his partner taken down.

But Azis has had enough:

“I am completely sick of this country. Fed up and disgusted with the homophobia and racism … I’m going but I will not say where,” he said.

Last September, Amnesty International asked the Bulgarian government to act firmly to stop a wave of anti-Roma attacks. This month, the Football Union of Bulgaria was sanctioned for racist chants by their fans at a match against England.

In July the Supreme Court overturned a city ordinance banning public displays of sexual orientation. In 2010, the promoters of the same Ordinance had been decorated by the Orthodox Bishop of Plovdiv for his “defense of Christian values, morality and spirituality Orthodox and the sanctity of marriage and the family.”

Watch Azis at his flamboyant best.


Related stories:

Fundamental Rights Agency Finds EU has Uneven Landscape on LGBT Rights

The Sisyphean Task of Belgrade’s Gay Pride March

Ukraine MPs Want to Ban ‘Promotion’ of Homosexuality

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41 comments

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12:28AM PST on Dec 3, 2011

Thanks for sharing!

9:09PM PST on Nov 28, 2011

wow! never heard of Azis...wish him the best.

7:18AM PST on Nov 28, 2011

Let Bulgaria sort their problems...we have enough of our own!

4:11AM PST on Nov 28, 2011

Noel S. "I don't want any Homosexuals' sexuality being so " in-my-face" as this stage acts act - might be."

Simple solution, don't go.

3:19AM PST on Nov 28, 2011

I don't want any Hetrosexuals' sexuality being so " in-my-face" as this stage acts act - might be.

I don't want any Gays' sexuality being so " in-my-face" as this stage acts act - might be.

Others might go & see & enjoy. I wouldn't plan to go - but I would not deny other ( adult )peoples wishes to go & see that stage act.

I 'd certainly wish to stop people under the age of 18 attending the show - because one aint an adult until you are 18 - and it would seen this is an Adult stage act.

But apart fro m that restriction - let's let the show go on !

2:33AM PST on Nov 28, 2011

well Vera Y., human ability to think is the biggest gift, worst curse and most dangerous weapon :)

2:17AM PST on Nov 28, 2011

Homosexuality is found in 450 species. Homophobia is found in only one.
Which one seems to be unnatural now?

1:55AM PST on Nov 28, 2011

Christine S. and Marg W.,
hate and contempt against homosexuality is not much different than many other social tendencies in the past. Humanity knows a lot of wars started against someone else's religion, culture etc. (take for example the Roman Empire if you want, the Inquisition or whatever else, the examples are really enough). I'll try to explain it the simplest possible and understanding for me way: If you live surrounded by number of people who are against for example homosexuality, on a subconscious level you accept their believing and position just in order not to be rejected by them. People are social beings, need to feel themselves affiliated to the group, to feel accepted, supported, to feel their believing is being shared. They don't like to go out with a poster saying "no to the gays", if their neighborhood is homosexual. On the other side, if you take a person who has lived among people with homosexual orientation and put this person among people who are homophobic ,that person is going soon enough to change his believing and appreciation and start adjusting it to the new group.
People who are neutral are usually outsiders, depending on the level of appreciation and understanding of the group. Means- if the group mostly consist of others with higher level of understanding for the difference and coloration of our world, they are going to accept another perception as far as this perception does not threaten the entity of this social group.
The same way, blind

9:02PM PST on Nov 27, 2011

I think everyone should read Lora V.'s post!

READ "LORA V." !!!!!!! She knows what she is talking about.

4:45PM PST on Nov 27, 2011

I don't understand why people get so freaked out about gays enough to incite violence against them- if you don't like it, no one is asking you to hang out with them! I think young heterosexuals are more promiscuous than gays- why don't the homophobes freak out over hetero adultery?

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