Abstract

This essay examines the recent homosexual scandal of József Szájer, founding member of the Hungarian governing party Fidesz, and compares it to the interwar homosexual scandal of Hungarian conservative icon Cécile Tormay. It highlights how even as Fidesz has been limiting the rights and visibility of LGBTQ+ people in the name of defending Christian national values, it has not just tolerated but facilitated its own queer members’ sexual escapades. Historicizing Fidesz’s calculated approach to elevate the issue of homosexuality to an issue of national security also offers insight into how anti-Western and antidemocratic sentiments function in East Central Europe using the fulcrums of gender and sexuality.

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