Since Trajan and Decebalus: online media reporting of the 2010 GayFest in Bucharest

Sebastian Eric Bartos, M.A. Balş, I. Berger

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


The current study uses critical discourse analysis to examine how a high-profile gay pride event in Romania, the annual Bucharest GayFest, is represented by online media outlets. Same-gender relationships were only decriminalised in Romania a decade ago, and research on Romanian sexualities is scarce. In order to examine the construction of homosexualities in Romania, we employed critical discourse analysis on 23 internet news reports of a gay pride event. Three major themes emerged: the GayFest as exotic, the GayFest as a political event and the link between sexuality and national identity. Both exoticising and politicising discourses contribute to the positioning of gay people outside the nation. Pro-gay voices complement this marginalising perspective by reproducing political discourse. Only one statement in the news reports could be read against minoritising discourses: an ironic banner construed the trope of founding fathers (Trajan and Decebalus, in the case of Romania) as a potentially homoerotic motif, and thus undermined the relationship between nationalism and homophobia. The implications of these findings are discussed; the link of nationalism to homophobia and the almost unquestioned marginalisation of gay people are especially scrutinised.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-282
Number of pages15
JournalPsychology and Sexuality
Issue number3
Early online date8 Apr 2013
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Apr 2013


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