For the first time in Georgian politics, an out lesbian is participating in elections
According to the chairwoman of the Republican Party, Khatuna Samnidze, Bolkvadze’s views coincide with those of the party:
“We are proud that she believes in the Republican Party. In case she is elected to the Tbilisi sakrebulo (municipal legislative body), she will work to strengthen Tbilisi, [by ensuring it remains] a safe city.”
Nino Bolkvadze, a lawyer, is open about her orientation. This is the first time in Georgian politics that a party has included a candidate who has not hidden their sexual orientation in its election list.
In recent years, Nino Bolkvadze has been actively participating in the LGBT movement for human rights. In an interview given to the publication ‘Liberal’, she said that: “In this fight for rights, the best way is to become a figure oneself, [one] that makes decisions or to try and find supporters that will make decisions that coincide with the interests of the LGBT community.”
She says that the question of identity is not the only one that concerns her:
“The air we breath, ecological policies, problems in education, widespread violence in schools, violence in families and hate crimes [are also of concern].” Bolkvadze says that the Republican Party will work to solve these issues.
The political secretary of the Republican Party Tamar Kordzaia told the publication ‘Liberal’ that:”What is of concern is that people in society are surprised when an individual who does not hide their [sexual] orientation puts forward their candidacy.”
Kordzaia says that: “The problem is in the surprise itself. Nino is a competent person and she is capable of doing a lot in many different fields. In religious countries, for example in Serbia, the Prime Minister is a lesbian. But there, this does not become subject for discussion – she was chosen exclusively because of her professional capabilities. Sexual orientation is by far not the most important or leading topic. We believe that this is how people should react towards the issue.”
Elections for local self-governing bodies (sakrebulo) are taking place in Georgia on 21 October.