One year has passed since last year's Outober. Let us thank you again for your many stories, we just loved them all! If you haven't read them, you can find them here within the category of 'Coming out'. This year we will start something new. Today we are launching our 'Born This Way' project!
What does it mean? Using a childhood picture, we tell you all about our childhood memories, what it was like to grow up as an LGBTQ child, how we coped with the difficulties of the world, what experiences have shaped us later on. Let’s talk about acceptance, self-acceptance, struggles and victories- and let’s talk about the problems and the times we were defeated. Some are kind or funny, some are heartbreaking personal stories.
We’ll start with sharing the stories of qLit team this Outober, and we’re excited to hear your stories about your pictures as well! We recommend reading some of our stories first, to get a general idea about the storytelling (you can find more help here), and then let’s go! Write and send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Here is the first story by Dorka!
Dorka (12), 2002
This picture was taken on a family vacation, and you can see me and my siblings pose with our brand new sunglasses. Those are not the only new things though, a little while before this photo I convinced my mom to buy those crazy awesome baggy black trousers at the Chinese market, which even had pockets on their sides. I knew that I was super cool but to my surprise, the only person in the family to agree with me was my grandfather.
Years after the picture was taken, my grandmother told me that around the same time we bought those pants, the thought already crossed their minds (when I was constantly seen playing football with the boys in the neighborhood): “Could this kid be…?” But they didn’t want to think about that, just like me around the time. At least for the next 7-8 years.
I was 19 years old when my grandpa died, so when it was the right moment come out two years later, I only sat down to talk with my grandmother. It was when I was working on organizing EuroGames (“the gay Olympics”) day and night and we were watching Zsolt Bayer on Echo TV, because I moved to my grandma’s house temporarily. Meanwhile listening to how great Viktor Orbán and the conservative values are.
The circumstances didn’t make the talking part very easy. There was crying, there was “how lucky we are that your Grandpa didn’t live to see this!”, but in the end, it was all “whoever you love, I love them too”.
I’m very lucky. My grandmother started to look for books in the subject the very next day, read them all, and a few days later asked me to sit down and talk. The first thing she said was that she just learned that being gay is not a choice and it makes her understand me more. This was coming from a person who spent her whole life reading and educating herself. Naturally, she had a thousand more questions that we talked through these years, but the important thing is, she took the first step towards me, to read about the topic and ask me the questions she couldn’t find the answers to- and I’m sure that my grandfather would have done the same thing had he had the chance.
If your parents, siblings, grandparents don’t make the effort to try to understand and to accept you, don’t just give up! Sometimes all they need is a little push to get out of their comfort zone which is filled with ignorance that controls their fears and makes people keep their distance. Sometimes you have to hold their hands in the process, even if they don’t want you to. Believe me, it’s worth it!
Translated by Éva Csermendy
The project is a “steal with pride” movement, we aspire to create something similar to this blog, in qLit-style: https://borngaybornthisway.blogspot.com