On April 5th, Romanian TV superstar and bestselling author Mihaela Radulescu has posted an article on her blog which was met with an avalanche of debate, cheers, critical comments and even verbal violence.
She has claimed to have been inspired by a Facebook post made by her life partner, Austrian adventurer Felix Baumgartner, the first skyjumper to ever break the sound barrier in a 39-kilometer high freefall through stratosphere in 2012.
Recently, on Facebook, the skydiver expressed his support for Austrian folk singer Andreas Gabalier. The singer, in his thank-you speech at the Amadeus – The Austrian Music Awards, had said that “it’s not easy in this world, where one can either be a male or a female”. The artist’s comments were met with booing from the public, which made him say there should be more tolerance “from the other side”.
This prompted Baumgartner to write on his Facebook wall that guys like Gabalier should be praised, because there are only a few left with the courage to speak up their minds. His post got over 29,000 Likes, almost 3,000 comments and almost 1,500 Shares.
In her blog post, Mihaela Radulescu Schwartzenberg says she accepts LGBT people, but she does not like the public display of their culture, which has started to infringe on the majority’s right to disagree with their lifestyle. She also says she has interacted with many such people in her career and was never disturbed, but she could hardly remain quiet during public displays such a Gay Prides (which have seen naked people walking in the streets in Western countries – Warning: explicit photos here). She also characterized same-sex marriage as “aberrant” and wondered how to explain it to her 11-year old son Ayan.
She was immediately both praised and slammed for the article. Some said she was intolerant and a hater. Other even insulted her on her Facebook page and in the over 100 comments generated by an article on the subject published by adevarul.ro, the biggest online platform in Romania, a news outlet with a pronounced left-wing ideological bias.
But there were many commentators who agreed with her, saying her published opinion, despite the colorful language, had been unduly characterized as an attack on homosexuals. A Romanian living in New York commented: “I agree. I’ve been living in New York for 15 years and, sadly, I can see the Land of Freedom confronts with the same problem. I can’t speak up my mind anymore because someone is bound to feel offended and I shall be accused of racism, they will say I am intolerant etc. My opinions are based on experience, I have been exposed to and affected by that. (…) And you know what? I think minorities are generally more racist that everybody else. Come to New York and see what I am talking about (in English in original). I agree with Mihaela.”
But on a blog post published on the popular adevarul.ro online platform, Florin Buhuceanu, director of Accept, the NGO promoting LGBT rights and culture in Romania, said “Mihaela Radulescu’s life lessons are pure hate speech”. Accept has also issued a press release entitled “Mihaela Radulescu incites to hatred against the LGBT community, under the guise of free speech”
The social media started buzzing as well. There were some who reminded her that years ago she had posed in Tabu women attitude magazine acting a hot kiss with Romanian actress Daniela Nane. They even made a fake Facebook page entitled “Mihaela Radulescu sustine comunitatea LGBT” (“Mihaela Radulescu supports the LGBT community”), with the “infamous” Tabu magazine as profile photo.
Other Romanians entered Felix Baumgartner’s Facebook page to post comments such as: “So, Felix, does Red Bull know you are dating a raging homophobic crazy woman?” (in English, in original) Red Bull Stratos was the project in which Baumgartner made a record freefall which surpassed the sound speed, after jumping from 38,969.4 m, a jump during which he experienced 25.2 seconds of absolute weightlessness.
To all these, the Romanian diva answered on her official Facebook page in English and in Romanian: “I am not lesbian (…) but I am amused to see how stupid some people are, just reading newspapers instead of using them to clean the windows to see the real world” (in English, in original), while on her personal Facebook page, she announced that the flood of insults sent from Romania to Felix Baumgartner, whom she calls “a real MAN” and “a hero of the modern age” are only reaching the page administrator, who is herself.
“[Felix’s Facebook post touched] the most sensitive modern subject – how normal is today’s world anymore, a world in which there are still men and women who love each other, who get married and have children, and also a world in which former men have become women, but they have kept their beard, men who get married to men and get to raise children – anyway, [it touches] everything we are not allowed to freely debate anymore, because we infringe on minority rights. Almost nobody ever thinks that the respective minority also infringes on the morality of the majority and the majority’s right to… normalcy, because, look, we are forced to be ‘politically correct’.
When he turned 11, my little boy found out how he came to the world and that there must be a man and a woman for this purpose. But, some time, while he grows up, I shall have to find a way to inform him about gay, about men who hold hands and kiss in the street, who wear skirts (although we have never been to Scotland) J, who get married… (…) I should tell him this is all right and that he cannot say anything bad about them, because it is not politically correct.
Wow! Difficult job, isn’t it? Especially when you are a public person and, in order not to lose popularity, fans and other ‘perks’, you are not allowed to talk about such a sensitive subject.
I think the normal attitude is not to disturb in any way those who chose to be gay, homosexual I mean, but they should also not disturb us. They can do their thing between the walls without publicly and defyingly displaying their effeminated ‘love’ with well-groomed eyebrows and lipsticked mouths, which is incomprehensible for two penis owners. I also think normal that the rights of a minority to be respected just as the rights of the majority.
…but don’t make the mistake of attacking them, because they will get intolerant, irritated and… victimized. And we, those who would like to raise a few grandsons and daughters and to have our hair done for our son’s banal wedding with… a woman, do not have the right to speak up our minds. We don’t have the courage to say what we like and what we don’t. We are not allowed to spoil the beautiful results of minority rights campaigns sponsored by impressive EU money, we don’t have the banal right to remind them that the world started with Adam and Eve, not with George and John. I guess God cannot be contradicted and accused for being ‘politically incorrect’, but I shall surely be ‘beheaded’ for daring to speak up my mind as a mother.
I am trying to make things clearer – I shall always accept you and I shall never discriminate you, because it is your choice in life. But I should also like you to understand that you could get more respect and understanding if you did not overstate it, if you reduced the violent colors of your public spectacle, if you behaved normally, so you won’t draw the attention all the time to what you are.
You are abnormal people, no matter how much it offends you to be called like that – but, since you are assuming your difference, do it gracefully, discreetly, convincingly, not necessarily raiding women’s wardrobe and makeup. Stop visually aggressing our kids in the street, because we have no place to file a complaint against it, since we are a majority obliged to respect the rights of a minority J; instead respect our kids’ right to grow up normally and chose… rightfully.
Post Scriptum 2 – At “Romania’s Got Talent”, I told a transvestite competitor who did not get into the next stage of the contest that I voted ‘Yes’ for him ‘for openmindedness’ sake’. Then I added something which was eliminated at the final edit of the show – that I should have liked him to show us he was the very good dancer I knew him to be from other shows, not that he was gay”