With no recourse or protection (she was not out to her family) she had to quit and move to Sofia where she could get support and counseling from LGBT Gemini.
George, who has traveled all over Europe, added that to be seen as gay is to be seen as weak, less than a ‘full’ man.
Homosexuals in Sofia, Bulgaria are not part of the accepted social order yet there are countless legions of them/us participating in the pulse of everyday life in the post communist order of things.
Behind the nice clothes, calm talk and tasty food that evening, each of those gay and lesbian citizens had stories to tell that belie the calm of modern Sofia–stories of rejection, confusion, alienation, discrimination, hiding and fear.
Said Soldier in response to George’s dour cautions: “To some extent Sofia is only missing simply the (gay population) size like in Berlin.
However, Bulgaria is probably one of the most westernized cultures in Eastern Europe, and for sure, the most western in the Balkans.
My two dinner hosts were the President of Bulgaria’s LGBT organization, Ms.
Nouveau prosperity rides around in sporty SUVs while most others walk or take a trolley, and it’s not unusual to see a manual worker driving a horse cart downtown.
It’s a city of ingrained prejudice against homosexuals and a lively, rebellious and progressive activist organization.
Two things are happening at the same time in Bulgaria—and in other societies in modern Eastern Europe.
(1) Homophobia and fear of authority are still strong.