27 July, 2015

Hate Crime Stories: An Italian in Budapest

2 Comments
Category: far-right, Fascism, hate crime, Homophobia, National campaigns, Opinion, Police, Political campaign, Privacy, Safety, Uncategorized, uninvestigated incident, Victims of hate crime
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9 am

livid eye + nostrils

 

Written by Andrea Giuliano

It is pretty difficult to tell my story in a few lines because it touches so many different topics and it involves so many charachters that sometimes it can be really difficult to follow. I will try to explain it rather via its main concepts than via its development through time. I will start saying that I am a human rights activist and self taught artist fighting for equality and taking a fierce stand against racism, discrimination and double standards in general.

I have been actively engaged in activities and civil actions regarding Roma, homeless and women’s rights, among others, however if I had to classify myself as an activist, I most probably would recognize LGBTQI as my main field of interest and activity. During the past years I’ve been progressively getting more and more political, as I believe that public awareness is not enough if authorities don’t respond to it and support it with law enforcement. I live in Hungary, and during Budapest Pride 2014 I decided to parody the logo of a far-right motorcyclist group in order to mock the machista philosophy of the whole far right in (and beyond) the country accompanying this logo with myself dressed up as a priest in order to put together two institutions which are largely responsible for LGBTQI people’s emargination, harrassment and discrimination. The result was pretty much beyond control, which partly shows how the mockery and critique were pretty well addressed: not only was my performance criticized, things got to a whole new level. Within a couple days from my participation in Budapest Pride 2014 I was labelled by ultra Catholics and Nazis alike as public enemy, and since that moment I have received countless death threats including a price on my head, and became victim of attempted physical attacks, stalking, harrassment, violation of privacy, hatred incitment and hate speech. I had to temporarily leave work, change physical appearance and move several times within a few months in order to protect my safety. Last but not least, I immediately filed a complaint to the Police asking for help (July 7th 2014), however since then the only result I saw from them is one agent referring to me as „that faggot”. Last but not least I was sued for defamation by the president of the organization I parodied – it is worth mentioning that the very same organization also put a price on my head via their facebook page before filing the lawsuit.

My case is receiving growing attention since it started to appear on major international press channels since the beginning of 2015 – however Hungarian authorities have shown no interest whatsoever, the Police declared in the end of May 2015 (almost 11 months after I filed my complaint) that they had not had time to focus on the case. A case which includes hundreds of examples of death threats, messages filled with hate speech and proof of privacy violation, harrassment, stalking and hatred incitment. Sadly, one of the worst parts is yet to come: a good portion of the public opinion is convinced of the fact that I indeed deserved to be attacked and risk my life because of the fact that I provoked Nazis and questioned the authority of the Catholic Church. I eventually came to the conclusion that victim blaming or even self hatred (since many people belonging to the LGBTQI community in this country consider themselves sick and accept to be discriminated against or even attacked, however absurd it may sound) are probably much bigger problems than the extremists themselves or than the arbitrary and unprepared authorities, rather than the vastly homophobic political panorama of Hungary.

I find it deeply saddening that an opinion, however direct and strong that may be, can justify the usage of violence and pardon crime – moreover the fact that this is socially acceptable and also the fact that authorities themselves operate basing their decisions on personal taste rather than on law make my mission ever more complicated and at the same time ever more important.


2 Comments

  1. Nefarius

    Andrea,

    You have been revile our national symbol! No, not the big black dick what I am talking about as our symbol.
    I think, you didn’t know enough about our culture. National symbols are protected by the law, and quiet important in Hungary. Revile a national symbol is crime in our country! You have been provocate hungarians, revile our country (if I am right, you live here as well, but that was your choice, so you can leave us anytime), make something what is against the law, so, the only what I can say: YOU WERE VERY VERY VERY LUCKY to get out of this situation without much more serious consequences. You did generate this for yourself!
    Feel free to leave this nazi and homophob country!
    Have a nice day somewhere else!

    Edit
  2. John

    Nefarius,

    It is easy to talk about people “leaving” a space so that that space becomes better, but it never resolves the underlying issues which are part of society and not simply problems with individual people. This “leaving” discourse is popular among the far right… and also the liberal left. Of course no one is going to leave because some hateful comment on the internet told them to.

    What we could do is have a dialogue about how attacking people for being LGBTIAPQ is never going to resolve any issues.

    I write this very cautiously because I usually don’t take such a ‘diplomatic’ approach to comments like yours. We’ll see how you choose to respond and go from there. But you should consider your privileges in this situation and instead of being abusive, consider the situation of those you’re listening to.

    Edit

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