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Homosexuals in Sofia, Bulgaria are not part of the accepted social order yet there are countless legions of them/us participating in the pulse of everyday life in the post communist order of things.Behind the nice clothes, calm talk and tasty food that evening, each of those gay and lesbian citizens had stories to tell that belie the calm of modern Sofia–stories of rejection, confusion, alienation, discrimination, hiding and fear.Without fanfare or flourish, there we were, nine gay folks in a corner of Machaloto Restaurant doing what gay people do in Sofia…and Berlin, London, Budapest or Chicago: enjoying the evening with friends over chat and chatter with good food brought by an very attentive and subtle server. By candlelight, among hushed tones, in no hurry, lingering over chocolate desserts and cappuccino, we shared an unworried time with polite, discreet and enjoyable comrades talking local gossip or international gay politics.The scene was remarkable in its un-remarkableness: peaceful, undisturbed and courteously treated by the restaurant staff.Nouveau prosperity rides around in sporty SUVs while most others walk or take a trolley, and it’s not unusual to see a manual worker driving a horse cart downtown.

It becomes law in January 2004.) “But changing the law doesn’t make individual gays feel more safe or brave,” he added.Political and religious persecution for most to the 20th century has left emotional cultural scars, in varying degrees, on most homosexuals.Most gays are closeted and fearful so they stay away from the 8 or 10 gay bars/discos in Sofia.The tradition in Bulgaria, as in most of the world, is to prove manhood by taking a wife and producing offspring.The naive opinion of most people is that gays are socially defective transvestites.

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