Georgian opera singer plans charity concert for gay rights
Reposted from DFWatch: http://dfwatch.net/georgian-opera-singer-plans-charity-concert-for-gay-rights-65293
TBILISI, DFWatch–A Georgian opera singer plans a charity concert dedicated to gays, lesbians and other sexual minorities.
Tamar Iveri’s announcement in Tbilisi on Thursday comes after she was denied to perform by Opera Australia and La Monnaie of Brussels because of her alleged homophobic statements.
Speaking at a press conference, Iveri said that the concert is a way to once again apologize to LGBT people for the letter which was posted to her Facebook page after the anti-gay violence on May 17, 2013.
The planned concert will take place in Tbilisi on October 11, which is the National Coming Out Day (NCOD).
Iveri added that the concert is to be dedicated to the victims of all kinds of violence and called on other Georgian artists to also participate. The money made on the charity concert will be spent on assisting victims of violence.
“This is to apologize and to express support,” she said at a joint press conference with Identoba, an organization working to protect the rights of LGBT people in Georgia.
Iveri criticized the media for incorrectly reporting that her career is over and made it clear that it was she who asked Opera Australia not to perform, in order to avoid provocations.
The debate about Iveri began when a letter was published on her Facebook page after the anti-gay violence on May 17, 2013. A handful of LGBT activists wanted to hold a small peaceful event to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, but were violently attacked by thousands of radical Orthodox activists. In the Facebook update, LGBT people were compared to ‘fecal masses’.
In June, 2014 she had a performance planned at Opera Australia but as soon as there was published announcement that she was performing in Otello, fans of Opera Australia and other users of social media attacked the opera, demanding not to let her perform. In the end Iveri reached an agreement with the opera not to perform.
She later apologized for the statement and explained in a separate Facebook post that her husband had written the offending comments under her name. “For my entire career I have been working with gay people and some of them are very dear friends. All of them can confirm that I [have] never [expressed] a word that might associate me with homophobic ideas,” she wrote.