March 31, 2023
Dnevik Publication in Bulgaria published a conversation with Simeon Vasilev on the subject of the the reactions of the political formations to the rights and problems of the LGBT community. Simeon is the founder and chairman of the "GLAS" (Gays and Lesbians Accepted in Society) Foundation, one of the organizers of Sofia Pride and has been engaged in LGBTI activism for years
Did you expect the rights of the LGBTI community to be included in the political campaign and party programs?
They topic is included but with a negative spin. Once again we witness a targeted campaign against LGBTI people. A campaign that turns gay people into some kind of horror with which politicians, and especially the BSP, try to scare the public.
Unfortunately, we do not see any mainstream political party, with the exception of the Green Movement, taking a stand in support of the rights of LGBTI people in the last 10-12 years. We are part of society, but we feel excluded and not politically represented.
What changes in laws is your organization fighting for?
The Penal Code, in force today, does not include sexual orientation and gender identity or gender expression as signs on the basis of which hate crimes - hate speech and other crimes are committed. This is a battle we have been fighting for more than 20 years.
Of course, legal recognition in some form of same-sex partnerships, as well as recognition in Bulgaria of same-sex marriages concluded in other EU countries.
But the amendments to the laws are the icing on the cake. To reach them we need to work hard to change attitudes, something that the GLAS Foundation does with its public campaigns, building a more visible community, which we achieve through community services and the only community center - the Rainbow Hub, as well as through large public events and protests, such as Sofia Pride, which we organize.
Translated from Bulgarian to English with Google Translate