(1987 - living) Georgia
Pako Tabatadze made history when he became the first Georgian national to come out on national television. During the live broadcast on October 13th, 2007, Pako publicly announced his homosexuality and added that he was not shy of recognizing it. On the contrary, he said he was proud of it. Unfortunately, the show's producers weren't feeling celebratory.
Koba Davarashvili, the general director of Rustavi 2 TV, which broadcasts the highly popular show "Bari", confirmed that the decision to expel Pako Tabatadze had been taken because of his on-air candor.
"GeoBar is a project, which first and foremost, should show young people's relationships and their drive for victory from a positive angle," Davarashvili said.
Pako recounts the situation:
"At 4 o'clock AM Khaburdzania told me that I had crossed boundaries, that I had overshadowed others and become more popular and that did not suit them. He demanded that I play neutrally and I continued this way. In the morning they got me out and told me that I would leave the project. When I asked the reason they answered that there were the phone calls of dissatisfaction from the Orthodox Patriarchate of Georgia and the population. If I would not leave "Bari" the TV station would have possible problems. After Khaburdzania's told me to get out I was informed that anchorwoman Nino Khoshtaria would come in and announce the decision in ten minutes. It happened exactly so."
Since Pako Tabatadze was kicked off the reality show "Bari," he has been busy consulting with lawyers. He is considering legal action against TV station Rustavi 2 because of their violation of his rights. Human rights defenders consider Tabatadze's expulsion from the show as an issue of direct discrimination.