LGBTs in Georgia




gentle touch (2) come out (2)
wish misconduct hide/hid/hidden
fear couple (2) tell/told/told
reveal far-right say/said/said
identity storm (2) bring/brought/brought
insult voice (2) presence (2)
notion accepting less/lesser/least
addict public (2) compared to
queer compared conversation
shame figure (4) no such thing
debate issue (3) categorically
sin embroil know/knew/known
activist threaten feel/felt/felt (2)
attitude hypocrisy lead/led/lead
scandal of its own find/found/found
stun (2) allegation make public
clergy circle (3) choose/chose/chosen
priest speak out movement (2)
treat mean (3) speak/spoke/spoken
norm case (2) forbid/forbade/forbidden
guilty orthodox tell/told/told
clerical common as time goes by
trust ordinary say/said/said
wound suspend hide/hid/hidden






A gentle touch — but not in public.

Being gay in Georgia means having to hide who you really are.

Gay Georgian Man: “When I told my mother I was gay, she said I had brought shame to the family. She said, ‘I wish you were dead. It’s better not to have a son that to have someone like you.'”

In fear for their safety, this couple didn’t want to reveal their identity.

This is why: the opening night of Georgia’s first film about gay romance. Far-right nationalists try to storm the cinema, threatening those with tickets.

They said a film about two male dancers in love was an insult to the nation.

Giorgi Tabagari, LGBT Activist: “Society is not accepting of LGBT people. We are the least wanted neighbors, compared to criminals and drug addicts.”

Journalist: “Do you think the film will change the public’s attitude towards queer people?”
Giorgi Tabagari, LGBT Activist: “A few years ago, there was a common notion that there was there was no such thing as a Georgian gay man.

I saw a lot of public figures from culture, from cinema, from politics debating this issue which was not the case two or three years ago, you know.

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A conversation about homosexuality may have started in society, but Georgia is an Orthodox Christian nation. And in the Georgian Orthodox Church, homosexuality is officially a sin.

The Orthodox Church is so powerful that its presence is felt everywhere in Georgia. It has been a leading voice against the LGBT movement in the country.

But now, the Church finds itself embroiled in a huge scandal of its own.

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Georgians were stunned when allegations of homosexuality within the Church were recently made public.

Father Andrea is among a small circle of priests who have chosen to speak out against what they say is hypocrisy within the clergy.

Father Andria Saria, Georgian Orthodox Priest: “We have many problems in the Church. And one of them is homosexuality. It is the main problem, which has become an open wound that needs to be treated.

The church categorically forbids priests from being homosexuals. And we are fighting against homosexuality becoming the norm in the Church.”

The Georgian Orthodox Church told the BBC it’s impossible for there to be any gay priests. Anyone guilty of such misconduct would be suspended, it says.

But the couple in the park has this message: “Priests are ordinary people. They’re hiding in their clerical clothing. This is not a virus that needs treating. There always has been homosexuality; and there always will be.

And as time goes by, more and more people will be coming out.”

For now, only after nightfall, Georgia’s gay community comes alive. In a few trusted clubs, they can finally be who they really are.

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1. There are absolutely no gays in Georgia. There are zero gays in Georgia. LGBTs do not exist in Georgia. True or false?

2. Are gays in Georgia conspicuous and prominent? What do they hide or keep a very low profile?

3. In the video, what was the main dispute? What event triggered a (violent) confrontation? Did this mark a watershed or turning point in Georgia?

4. The lowest “caste” or people in society are the mafia, murderers and drug dealers. Is this right or wrong?

5. Is the Georgian Orthodox Church sympathetic to the plight or LGBTs? Do they protect and defend gays?

6. The Church is completely “pure, clean and innocent”. Is this correct or incorrect?

7. Are gays completely shunned, ostracized and live in total isolation?


A. What is the attitude towards LGBTs in your nation? They are embraced and completely accepted. They are tolerated. In the middle. There are mixed feelings towards them. They are looked down up. Or, they are persecuted and discriminated against.

B. Is there much public discourse about LGBTs and LGBT issues?

C. What are the positions of the government, religion and politics towards gays? Do attitudes differ or is are attitudes united?

D. Are gays prominent in everyday life: culture, arts, media, politics, sports? Are there famous gays in your nation’s history?

E. Should nations adopt the Dutch attitude, the Georgian one, in between, both or neither?

F. What might happen in the future?

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