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In the Media

by De Ket in Columns & Opinions , 03 January 2019

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

Dear Neighbors to the North, Another year, and time for new quotes from the last semester of 2018 from well-known or lesser-known Belgians about our queer fellow man, in all GLBTQI forms. A brief anthology of Flemish media.

“My cousin is gay, my mother’s two best friends are gay. Enough people in my environment are gay. People who know me, know how I am and what I stand for.” (International actor and Muscles from Brussels Jean-Claude Van Damme responds to accusations of being homophobic. On French TV, he had made the following statement: “Women marry, men marry, dogs get married, everyone gets married... And everyone gets a divorce,” in “Het Laatste Nieuws.”)

“We asked a test group whether they would hire a man who, on his resume, states that he is married to another man. The answer turned out to correlate to the personality of the respondent: those who do not like to take risks, were thirty-one percent less inclined to hire a gay man. Not because they had a problem with the sexual orientation of the fictional applicant, but because they were afraid that colleagues or clients would prefer not to work with a homosexual.” (Professor of Labour Economics Stijn Baert about his research on discrimination in job applications, on

“My client is gay. Why would he join a movement that will not tolerate homosexuality?” (Barrister of thirty-three-year-old Youssef I. from Antwerp, who was acquitted of recruiting possible Syria fighters, participation in a terrorist group, and the plans for an attack in Belgium, in “Het Laatste Nieuws.”)

  “It is better to be hated for what one is, than to be loved for what one is not.” (Ninety-year-old Flemish singer Will Ferdy, who publicly came out of the closet in 1970, in TV program “Voor de mannen.” Still on

“I taught him how to be gay.” (Sixty-year-old married Flemish farmer with children defends his behavior in court, after stalking and abusing a much younger colleague-farmer in the neighborhood, at

“The attacks on gays have never been so numerous. Every week, I or one of my clients are verbally abused. In the bar, customers feel safe. We support each other. But once outside there is a feeling of insecurity.” (Ronny Bekaert, owner of the oldest gay bar in Brussels, La Réserve, in “Het Laatste Nieuws.”)

“One in ten young people find violence against gays acceptable.” (Belgian youth survey published in “Het Laatste Nieuws.”)

Fourat “It was the best day of my life.” (City councillor from Ghent, Fourat Ben Chikha, about his coming-out as a Muslim gay, in “De Morgen.”)

“Can you find me a dance partner who is attracted to men?” (Kat Kerkhofs, wife of successful Belgian soccer player Dries Mertens, wanted to participate in the program “Dancing with the stars,” but only with a gay man, in “De Gazet van Antwerpen.”)

“I sometimes slap Viktor on his butt, but I’m not gay. I am a very physical man. I like to cuddle and kiss, and walk down the street hand-in-hand with my best friends. So, I understand were these assumptions come from. Earlier, when I was younger, I experimented. How can you know you like something if you’ve never tried? You can’t know whether you like chicory if you’ve never eaten it? But it tasted rather bitter. So, for once and for all: I am attracted to women.” (VRT presenter Kobe Ilsen for the umpteenth time has to deny that he is gay and was never in a relationship with Viktor Verhult, son of Flemish TV personality Gert Verhulst, in “Het Laatste Nieuws.”)
Kobe Ilsen

“Young N-VA has become a GLBT movement, more than half of them are gay or lesbian.” (Filip Brusselmans, President of the Antwerp student union Katholieke Vlaams Hoogstudenten Verbond, in “De Morgen.”)

“In the parish, he was priest Alain, but on the dating site for gays he was Stef.” (The pastor of Kortessem received a precautionary suspension after the diocese had come to know that for years, he led a double life and was in a relationship with a barber. But often he also met other men in church, in “Het Laatste Nieuws.”)

Yours sincerely,

De Ket



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