reede, juuni 09, 2006

More on the Glaubitz Affair

Well, this is an op-ed that might get read by some 'important' Europeans, and it's in English, by Martin Helme (pictured), the editor for world news at, and published in today's Brussels Journal.

In his interesting op-ed, Helme discusses two main topics - first, the willingness of the Estonian civil service to scold the Estonian public over the affair rather than defend itself in the wake of Glaubitz's very public accusations.

But the second sheds more light on the things we know and the things we don't know:

Just when Estonian society was bracing itself for endless lectures about “true Western values” and the need to train our capacity for tolerance, the entire matter became a farce. On the same day the Estonian media reported that there had never been any harassing of the ambassador’s husband.

The papers wrote that the real reason for the ambassador’s early departure was the fact that his Cuban husband did not like the Estonian weather nor the local night life. Hence he was threatening to leave the ambassador unless the latter moved to somewhere warmer and livelier.

The Estonian authorities confirmed that not a single notification of racial or homophobic incidents had been reported by Ambassador Glaubitz, neither to the Estonian police nor the Estonian or Dutch ministries of Foreign Affairs.

Accusations of harassment that are not reported are hard to discuss. Are they perceived, real, did anything really happen? Who knows. And Glaubitz and his partner did spend the least fun time of the year in Estonia (autumn and fall) before deciding to leave Tallinn for balmy Montreal.

On the other hand, getting painted as a nation of SS-worshipping homophobes from the other side of Europe might make an offended person react by not taking Glaubitz's accusations at face value, and instead respond by insinuating that this is nothing more than the very personal becoming very private.

The best thing that can be said about these matters, is that all the individuals involved are human. From that fact alone, we can come to many simple conclusions.

4 kommentaari:

Anonüümne ütles ...

Well, to be honest we aren't a very gay-loving society. I know many people who wouldn't tolerate homosexuals. I personally don't care but I would feel uncomfortable when gays would start to show it out in public. I really have a conservative attitude towards such kind of exposure. And the adopting of children by gay couples quite sickens me.
I wouldn't shout a homosexual in the face, but i certainly wouldn't be completely "okay" with them being gay. I really don't know but maybe it's a biological thing.. looking out for the species etc, I would certainly like to see it as that.

Giustino ütles ...

I used to go to Dupont Circle in DC, which is a gay mecca of sorts, and I have to say, despite my own best wishes, I did not feel comfortable to see two grown men making out in public.

It didn't mean that I hated gay people. I accept that homosexuality is part of the human condition. I had a cousin that was gay, one of my best friends in elementary school grew up to be a gay man. That's just who they are. I respect their lifestyle, though I do not understand their orientation.

But in the US, the only place I have seen gay people embracing one another is in publicly 'known' gay areas or establishments.

I don't know what happened with Glaubitz and his partner. I don't know what kind of abuse they were subjected to. Yes, if you kiss a man in public in Estonia, people will gawk at you and look at you like you just stepped off of a UFO.

If you do that in many parts of Manhattan, it will probably happen as well - because it's not a common sight.

The issue here isn't your feelings about gay people. It's this international tift with the Dutch ambassador. It's been printed in many English language newspapers. And, quite frankly, I am not sure how the common person interprets it. Pretty interesting though.

Bad news always travels the farthest.

Anonüümne ütles ...

Although I am willing to defend the full right for gays, I feel strange uneasiness when witnessing two males in a throws of passion. It is not homophobia, but just the way it is. However, this particular storm in a teacup can best be descriped as; much ado for nothing.

Giustino ütles ...

It's pickling season in Estonia. So there is actually little 'real' news. 'Real' news will resume in a few weeks when the next presidential roundtable resumes...