There’s nothing more inspiring than serving a cause you identify with, which motivates you, which makes you feel like you’re growing as a person. Volunteering is exactly one of those things. I remember the first time when I considered I should do something. Something that serves others just as much as myself. Something that’s important and matters to many people, but most importantly something that matters to me.
Meeting new people, exploring uncharted territories is always gonna make you feel scared or even terrified at first, your legs might get shaky… But then it’ll turn out to be something fantastic. You’ll realize that you’re surrounded with people just like yourself. You’re all different and the same in many ways, and most importantly: you’re on the same road towards a mutual goal.
The volunteer meeting was the first occasion that made me realize what I was preparing for. I got an indication of what to expect, what events will there be, what kind of help is needed, and most importantly, who I’ll work with. If somebody asked me to collect a few words in association with the volunteer meeting I would: 1. Think about how the person asking me must be insane, because obviously all the words I think of are positive, 2. I would start grinning widely thinking of my memories 3. I would show them all the inspiring posters that the volunteers made about acceptance and Pride (you can see them in the article). Team building, meeting each other, laughing, joy, and the program list, aka The Program List. The main attraction of the day where we found out who will be volunteering when and where, based on each of us’s wish of course.
Whether you’d want to do something technical or be an information desk worker, it’s up to you, they need help at every territory. You could decorate Auróra/the LGBTQ+ base, help organize the opening ceremony or advise visitors as an information desk worker- these are just a few of the many possible tasks. You’d never be alone, there’s always someone operating the tasks at the scene who can help you with anything. Not to mention your friends, whom you can take or make new ones on the spot.
Budapest Pride’s opening ceremony was shocking and exciting to me at the same time. Shocking because I never thought that this many people care about our cause, that there’s so many of us, so many brave people standing up for themselves, their own happiness. Exciting because I didn’t know what to expect and this amount of motivation and inspiration was what I would have expected the least.
You can do it. This is the best part about it. You can be one of them, stand up for your rights, be a member of an organization where nobody cares if you’re using the girls’ or the boys’ locker room, whether you have long or short hair, whether you like a plaid shirt or a plain T-shirt, what’s in your pants or who you sleep with. You can fight for your rights and be an advocate to a community that serves a cause that’s just as important to you as to the people you volunteer with.
It’s not over yet and I don’t want it to be over. It’s a little bit like I’ve been living in some sort of a strange bubble this month, and it only grows wider and wider, only disappearing after the 7th July, after a phenomenal march and a Rainbow party. Ideally every month would be Pride month. With the same programmes, the same joyful mood and popular places decorated with Pride flags. Yes, ideally...
Volunteering is fun, a party, a blast. Not a workplace where you must show up, it’s a place where you come gladly, just because you want to, and because it’s important to you. You’re not going TO get something and still you get so many things out of it. A bunch of memories, experiences, newly gained knowledge and many friends.
So what’s your answer? Is it worth it or is it worth it?
Translated by Éva Csermendy