The next piece of our Born this way series is by Dóri. Read the others' stories as well and find the series summary HERE.
Our page concept was inspired in LGBTQ+ solidarity by BornThisWayBlog.com
Dóri (11), 1998
I think I am around 11 years old in this picture. I am warming up for my rope routine at a rhythmic gymnastics competition in Fonyód, Hungary. I decidedly wanted to choose a picture from this period of my life, as no matter how boyish I look nowadays, (doing feminine sports) is as much an integral part of me as when I realized I’m attracted to girls.
I first felt that “something was off” at the age of 14. You can say it was an early realization, and I am thankful for that because it spared me from a series of awkwardness, insecurity and pointless suffering. No more being ill at ease on dates with boys, no more terrified moments thinking about what will happen when I lose my virginity to a guy (I always panicked imagining having sex with a man), and I felt I finally found my place. It’s rather funny remembering how obsessed I was with my young, long black-haired kindergarten teacher, Andi. I loved spending time with her and I was glad when my Mom had to work longer and couldn’t come to pick me up on time. Now I think Andi was my first love. And later - when I finally realized that I’m a lesbian - everything finally fit the picture. I started looking for other lesbians around me, which mostly consisted of pining over them and desperately looking for the love of my life in all possible platforms on the internet, including chat rooms.
I had the privilege of being a teenage girl in the early 2000’s, when a certain girl band turned my whole world upside down and switched my sexual evolution to high gear. You must remember the songs “All the things she said”, “Not gonna get us” or my personal favourite “Show me love” by the one and only t.A.T.u. By now I know I was cheated by their act, but at that time they were the only ones connecting me to the reality of being homosexual, and for a while my whole world revolved around them. It’s interesting to see what triggers the process in one’s mind that leads to the realization: “Okay, I think I am almost certainly gay.” For me, two Russian girls kissing on the TV screen was enough, but for some it might be a more difficult business as they need to come to terms with the feelings they developed for their female friend/teacher/workout buddy. Others naturally know from an early age that they like girls, but some might have to tackle those inexplicable feelings or the lack thereof for years or even decades. Fortunately, today there are countless movies, books, comics, artists, actresses, hosts and other celebrities who take on their sexuality and that might make it easier for teenagers to be in harmony with themselves and shape this part of their identity.
As a young lesbian, I fantasized a lot about how life will be when I grow up, where and with whom I will end up with. I dreamt of something that felt so far away and unreachable and I never thought that one day it could actually become reality. It might sound like a cliché, but it is a valuable advice: never give up on your dreams. If you make your dreams your goal, you are willing to fight for them, you have persistence and some courage, you can make them a reality. I dreamt of a woman who is smart, independent, beautiful, has a great sense of humour, has similar interests to those of mine and who loves me. I dreamt of a whole bunch of pets we can take care of. I dreamt of a job where I can help people and I can thrive in. I was terrified of being alone, of failing, but at the same time I was open to everything new and challenging. I had my fair share of disappointment and my soul is adorned with wounds of past memories. I was madly, deeply in love for a long time, but the woman with whom I can share my whole life without reservations finally found me. I have achieved the life I wanted to have, the one that I dreamt of as a teenager. I love and I am being loved. We have a dog and we can flourish together. We have two cats that made our apartment a real home. I have the chance to evolve, learn and become successful in what I’m interested in. Right now it’s helping people with their mental health, and leading them on their journey to a deeper understanding of themselves. I’m not saying my life is perfect and there is no room for improvement. What matters is that we have each other’s backs and we fight our fights together as a team.
Translated by Dóra Bajnóczi