Since Trajan and Decebalus: online media reporting of the 2010 GayFest in Bucharest

Bartos, Sebastian E.; Balş, Marius A. and Berger, Israel (2014). Since Trajan and Decebalus: online media reporting of the 2010 GayFest in Bucharest. Psychology & Sexuality, 5(3) pp. 268–282.



The current study uses critical discourse analysis to examine how a high-profile gay pride event in Romania, the annual Bucharest GayFest, is represented by online media outlets. Same-gender relationships were only decriminalised in Romania a decade ago, and research on Romanian sexualities is scarce. In order to examine the construction of homosexualities in Romania, we employed critical discourse analysis on 23 internet news reports of a gay pride event. Three major themes emerged: the GayFest as exotic, the GayFest as a political event and the link between sexuality and national identity. Both exoticising and politicising discourses contribute to the positioning of gay people outside the nation. Pro-gay voices complement this marginalising perspective by reproducing political discourse. Only one statement in the news reports could be read against minoritising discourses: an ironic banner construed the trope of founding fathers (Trajan and Decebalus, in the case of Romania) as a potentially homoerotic motif, and thus undermined the relationship between nationalism and homophobia. The implications of these findings are discussed; the link of nationalism to homophobia and the almost unquestioned marginalisation of gay people are especially scrutinised.

Viewing alternatives


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions
No digital document available to download for this item

Item Actions