Sunday, 18 May 2014

Tbilisi: IDAHOT hijacked by Georgian orthodox church amid "shoe protest" action "on behalf of the Invisible & against Invisibility"

The most hilarious news of the worldwide celebration of IDAHOT came from Tbilisi: "Mistakenly believing one of them to be gay, two homophobes attack each other on Rustaveli Ave."
According to the video, uploaded by, two homophobes, attacked each other, after wrongly believing that one of them was gay. People gathered at the rally thought one of them was gay and demanded from him to leave the territory before the Parliament building, Tbilisi on May 17th, 2014. Video shows that rally participant (held by the police on the picture below) tells the other: “I shall not let you stand next to me, next to true God! Leave now!” Soon, they attacked each other and continued adorning each other with pejoratives, swearing and name calling, including comparisons with female and male sexual organs. “Police force, mobilised on spot, took one of the participants of the scuffle out from the territory” – Liberali reported.
*picture - via Identoba

In general, the day was hijacked by the Georgian orthodox church, announcing 17th May as "Family Day" and calling people to protest against recently passed LGBT-inclusive anti-discrimination bill.
Orthodox groups marched and rallied in downtown Tbilisi on May 17 to protest against newly adopted anti-discrimination law and to mark day of “family strength”, introduced by the Georgian Orthodox Church in an attempt to counter the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO). 
Last year an attempted anti-homophobia rally on May 17 in Tbilisi to mark IDAHO was violently disrupted by thousands of demonstrators, led by Orthodox clerics. Fearing homophobic violence, LGBT rights groups held no event this year.
*picture - via @onewmphoto

After last year's violence instigated by Georgian orthodox church, LGBT people kept low profile on 17th May. Instead, a "shoe protest" action was conducted "on behalf of the Invisible & against Invisibility".
More than 100 shoes lay on Pushkin Square, where on May 17th, 2013 LGBT community was supposed to hold a silent flash-mob to celebrate International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. As the title of the Installation “Protest on Behalf of the Invisible & Against Invisibility” and concept suggest it, this “shoe protest” is a sort of revolt against invisibility and on behalf of those rendered invisible. It speaks for those, who, last year tried to bring their voices forward to the society: “This is an installation for the invisible, those who are unseen, those who are not heard, whose existence is not recognised. This is installation is for us, those who view but don’t see and listen to each other. This is for those who can’t leave homes and those who have no home to go to. This is for those who were chased after, persecuted and removed, by [...]
Today, these empty shoes stand instead of those humans, who dared, 1 year ago, to stand up against the invisibility of one social group, LGBTQ community, those who tried to unmask how merciless we are, those to attempted to discuss our common challenges. Those who wish to be here to express their woes and joys, but neither the state, nor the society respect their voice and their existence. This is a protest for the invisible and against invisibility. Despite that fact that we couldn’t yet manage to recognise and appreciate each other, we still exist, with our desires to speak, with your everydayness. Turning blind eye and covering up ears won’t erase our existence, won’t smooth over our wounds, won’t take away our ability to feel empathy and love.
Passersby are free to take a shoe of their choice after 6PM, May 18th.

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