Madara. Figure of a shaman on a tile. According to some theories, the shaman in question is androgynous (a person with sexual characteristics of a man and a woman) because it combines female breasts and facial hair.
The word "sodomite", meaning a person who engages in anal sexual intercourse, is synonymous with the word bugger from medieval Latin Bulgarus 'Bulgarian', especially belonging to the Orthodox and Bogomil faiths and therefore considered a heretic by the Roman Church. The meaning 'sodomite' (16th century) originated from the association of heresy with forbidden sexual practices; its use as a common insult in English dates from the early 18th century. (Oxford)
The first Penal Law of liberated Bulgaria is from 1896. Article 216 of Chapter XIV "Debauchery" states:
216. For buggery (pederasty) between persons older than sixteen years, as well as for bestiality, the punishment shall be: imprisonment for not less than six months.

Article 216 appeals to anyone with similar information to email us so we can piece together Bulgaria's lost LGBTQ+ history.

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