Of course, people with right-wing views can also be gay. And yet outings always seem to arouse a little more surprise here. Now Chris Janssens, the deputy leader of the Flemish party Vlaams Belang from Belgium, has come out.
He gave an interview to a magazine in which he spoke at length about being gay and the motivations behind his outing.
Janssens struggled with himself for a long time
In the interview in question, he explains that he had kept his homosexuality a secret for a long time. He also did not talk about it with his family. Accordingly, even those who are particularly close to the politician may be surprised by his outing.
He himself says that he has known about his sexual orientation for a long time. However, he decided to ignore it for a long time. What is particularly interesting in this context is the fact that Chris Janssens belongs to a party that is not only considered to be critical of Europe, but has also written the plan to abolish anti-discrimination laws on its agenda. The party is of the opinion that said laws cannot be reconciled with freedom of expression.
Who is Janssens closer to? Himself or his party?
Anyone who, as a gay man, belongs to a party that is described by many people interested in politics as "homophobic" must, of course, think about how he deals with this "combination". Janssen seems to be very clear in his view. For: he does not deny that his party includes members who have made homophobic statements in the past.
At the same time, however, Chris Janssens emphasizes the further development of his party and feels that it is not necessary to apologize afterwards for statements made by supporters of his party. It almost sounds as if Janssen has made it his mission to combine his party and his private life in the best possible way and to prove that one thing (being gay) does not exclude the other (being active in a right-wing party). To what extent he will succeed in this remains to be seen.
Janssen's outing - politician doesn't want to become LGBTQI+ ambassador
... but exactly THAT would be so obvious... . After all, the party would then perhaps have a kind of "antipole" to the homophobic statements from the past.
Janssen has however according to own statement not before to jump for the Community into the Presche. He does not want to act as an LGBTQI+ ambassador simply because he believes that sexual orientation and the like are part of private life. The conversation with the newspaper in which he made his outing public was thus probably a kind of "one-off event".
Finally he had decided after a discussion with a queer man to speak also about his own homosexuality. He wanted to help other people to be more open about themselves.
What is the situation for queers in Belgium?
Belgian society is now much more open to queers than it was decades ago. In fact, homosexuals were already allowed to marry here about 20 years ago. Especially in the larger cities, there are also numerous offers for queers and, of course, CSDs. The event in Brussels is particularly popular and well-known.
The outing of the right-wing politician does show that queerness cannot be tied to political views. In terms of strengthening their rights, however, the community should perhaps not rely on Janssen.
By the way, these were the 6 most famous and impressive outings of 2021