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.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/19419899.2013.784211

Abstract

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.

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