The next piece of our Born this way series is by Merci. Read the others' stories as well and find the series summary HERE.
Our page concept was inspired in LGBTQ+ solidarity by BornThisWayBlog.com
Merci (9), 2006
I think I am around nine years old in this picture. This was my last year with my classmates, while I still lived in Budapest. Soon after this we moved to a small town, where - as many of us have experienced - it’s difficult to fit in as an outsider, let alone as a LGBTQ+ person. This photo of me and my friends was taken after some kind of event. Years later, while looking at the picture I noticed something in my body language: I am trying to keep my distance from the two boys. That is an accurate depiction of my attitude towards my past classmates.
Many years later I realised the reason behind my refusal. I was six when my “rebellious years” started: I didn’t understand why I couldn’t get married to one of my female friends in a summer camp. I didn’t want to wear the pink dress, I didn’t want to hold the hands of the boys my age, and I didn’t want to show off these pictures to my future husband.
Similar incidents kept repeating throughout the years, but I was never good with emotions, so I didn’t bother to understand them until I was fourteen years old. In high school, I was placed into a weaker school due to my dyscalculia, even though I was bored there. I was trying to stay hidden in a sometimes aggressive, sometimes surprisingly pleasant class. I was already on the side of the downtrodden, although only in silence. After a while, I couldn’t keep quiet in the homophobic community and spoke up when I caught people using the word fag (buzi). To this day, I think that was one of the bravest and most freeing things I have ever done. I have never felt that brave again since then.
Coming out to my parents was an easier process - it turns out they were already expecting this. They accepted and supported me fully, while reassuring me that I am still the same person in their eyes.
Today I still stand on the side of the downtrodden, this time openly as an activist. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I feel a responsibility to help other marginalised people and show them that we are always stronger together.
Translated by Alexa Sebők