Oh My.

As the BBC puts it

The new leader of the party previously headed by Austrian far-right politician Joerg Haider has admitted the two men had a “special relationship”.

Stefan Petzner told Austrian radio that Mr Haider, whom he met five years ago, was “the man of my life”. …

Mr Petzner has described feeling a magnetic attraction to Mr Haider.

“We had a special relationship that went far beyond friendship,” Mr Petzner said in an emotional interview on Austrian national radio.

“Joerg and I were connected by something truly special. He was the man of my life,” he added.

More in German, from the Swiss side of the border.

Petzner is 27 and had been named head of the party and its parliamentary group after the death of Haider, who was 53. After the broadcast, he remains head of the party, but Josef Bucher, 43, now leads the parliamentary faction.

11 thoughts on “Oh My.

  1. When I saw that, I couldn’t help but remember the scene in “The Blues Brothers” where the neo-nazi leader’s station wagon catapults off the freeway and his second professes his love for him as they hurtle down to their doom…

  2. I’m not at all well-informed about Austrian Politics and I’ve heard that rumors about Haider being gay years ago, so assuming this was all very much an open secret, I don’t see why those Nazis should depose this Petzner fellow. They should make him their Isabel Peron.

  3. Doug, beat me by half an hour.

    Fazal, bingo. (Though my first thought was of the video for “Gay Bar” by Electric Six. “I wanna spend ALL your money… at the gay bar!”)

    Doug M.

  4. “It has been widely reported in Austria that on the night of his death, Mr Haider left a bar where he had been drinking with Mr Petzner after they had argued,” says the BBC.

    Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws has a slightly different version.

    Apparently Haider left said bar after his quarrel with Petzner and went to yet another bar in Klagenfurt, where he filled up on wodka in the arms of a certain eighteen year old Daniel N.

    Haider’s preference for younger boys earned his party the nickname “Haider’s boys party”. The fact that he was bisexual seems to have been a public secret.

  5. Uh, so what?

    The man liked to get it on with other men. Remind me again why exactly that should be interesting?

    Cheers,

    J. J.

  6. “The man liked to get it on with other men. Remind me again why exactly that should be interesting?”

    Apparently it was interesting enough for the Austrian Freedom Party to immediately sack his lieutenant Petzner.

    Also, it would be interesting to see how the grassroots of the Austrian Freedom Party will react.

  7. This is the usual hypocrisy around an open secret. Actually the party involved is BZÖ, not FPÖ, the Freedom Party. It is very much telling about BZÖ that after the death of the 58 former chairman they happened to elect his former lover, who is 27 and has very little political experience. I guess somehow they knew that this is what the founder of the party would have wanted.

  8. Yeah, of course, BZÖ not FPÖ.

    It would have been cool if they hadn’t sacked Petzner and took a firm and open stand regarding gay rights. But there is no way they could have done this without alienating a large portion of their conservative electorate.

    So, yes, hypocrisy. Show one thing, think and do another.

    What interests me, though, is how a gay/bisexual man like Haider ended up founding the BZÖ.

    See also this. “Gay” as the (not so) new “macho”.

  9. Guy, I don’t understand your question.

    Why exactly _couldn’t_ a gay/bisexual man emerge as a founder of an extreme-right-wing political movement? I simply don’t see any contradiction.

    (One could mention Fortuyn as a case in the point, but to be fair, he was in a completely different political category than Haider.)

    But the fact is that I don’t see why these two separate issues between the public and private life should be somehow linked. It’s sort of like asking how a brown-eyed man ended up founding such a movement. But then again, I live in a country where sexuality hasn’t usually been politicized.

    Or, well, a small caveat: a latent left-wing homophobia has actually existed and still exists in Finland. The roots of this attitude are in the times when homosexuality was still regarded as the “upper-class vice” – and usually, specifically as the vice of the Swedish-speakers. It’s no coincidence that when Katarina Lillqvist wanted to emphasize her view of Marshal Mannerheim as a “murderer” and “oppressor” in the events of 1918, she also decided to deliberately describe him as a homosexual and transvestite… thus revealing her very own peculiar working-class homophobia.

    The story of Kersti Juva, who’s remembered for her Finnish translation of Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” is equally telling. She was the daughter of Arch-Bishop Mikko Juva, and like many other children of the elites, protested against her family background by participating in the extreme orthodox communist movement in the ’70s. As soon as the movement found out that she was a lesbian, they kicked her out. She was readily welcomed back by her father, who accepted and did not condemn her lifestyle; perhaps not so paradoxically, a Lutheran arch-bishop turned out to be a model of tolerance as opposed to the ideologically pure marxist-leninists.

    Incidentally, in this country, “gay” has been synonymous with “masculine” or “macho” pretty much since forever. Tom of Finland all the way, baby. This is the Original, Savage, Mega-Butch North, although we have gradually learned not to discriminate against effete Central European or British stereotypes. Never mind what kind of political views they might be holding.

    Cheers,

    J. J.

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