where men hugged.
Later my friend Bill's big brother, who sang "Men with Beards," told me that they were written in Flemish, a language similar to Dutch spoken in Flanders, in Western Belgium.
Scandinavian. There were a few hints that Belgium was a "good place."
1. In 1310 Jan Breydel and Pietr de Coninck started a freedom-fighting rebellion against the evil French invaders. Their statue stands in the Market Place in Brugge today. I imagined that they were boyfriends.
3. Malpertuis, aka The Legend of Doom House (1971) is a Belgian horror movie. An androgynous sailor named Jan (Mathieu Carriere, top photo) is abducted and wakes up in the labyrinthine mansion Malpertuis, along with his sister and various gluttonous, depraved, insane relatives (who may be Greek gods), all imprisoned by the mysterious Uncle Cassavius (Orson Welles). Everyone, male and female, mortal and god, has creepy sexual intentions toward him.
4. The Francophone gay couples Tintin and Captain Haddock, Corentin and Kim, and Spirou and Fantasio were all drawn by Belgian cartoonists.
5. The Manneken Pis, a statue of a urinating boy, is the symbol of Brussels.
7. Tomorrowland, a gay-positive music festival held every summer near Brussels.