Famous Hungarian lesbians* are rare as a hen’s teeth. We have a shortage of role models, but you can find openly gay women... if you look very, very hard.
Ellen DeGeneres, Kristen Stewart, Jodie Foster, Ellen Page, Cynthia Nixon. Famous Americans (well, okay, Ellen Page is Canadian, but you get what I mean), all of them well-known in Hungary - and they are all out as lesbians, or are open about being in a lesbian relationship. I’m not saying it was easy for them to come out (in Hollywood, how could it ever be), and their coming out stories all made headlines. But take a look at this conversation between Ellen DeGeneres and Ellen Page, after the latter came out:
No wonder that out Hungarian women are scarce. Being gay, lesbian, trans or queer carries a stigma here. If someone comes out, they become “the gay sylist”, “the lesbian politician”, “the trans singer”. Instead of just being, you know, a stylist, a politician or a singer. We know why they don’t come out, but it doesn’t mean we don’t wish they did - we badly need lesbian* role models to look up to.
I still believe though
that someday we will live in a country where we don’t judge people by their gender identity or sexual orientation, only by their character, achievements and actions.
Until then, here is our list of out and proud Hungarian lesbian* women. 5+1 people, and hopefully a lot more to come.
The singer came out in 2011, and not on her own accord - she was videotaped kissing her partner. She then said (through her lawyer...what?) that she gets more love, understanding and inspiration from her girlfriend than from any man before. She was always a divisive figure, back when she appeared in Megasztár in 2003-2004, people either loved or hated her wild personality. In any case, props for being open about her identity.
Something must have been in the air in 2011, because that was the year when Niki Gallusz first opened up as well - she talked about being in a relationship with a woman, Laura Bártfai. They often appear in the tabloids, which is pretty refreshing. Niki doesn’t identify as a lesbian, or anything else, for that matter: she is simply in love with a woman. She is an actress of Madách Theater, which is known for its musical productions; which means that for many people, she is an unavoidable part of theater life.
Among all the artists we also have a politician, yaaay! Klára Ungár came out in 2011, when she was a member of SZDSZ (Alliance of Free Democrats). Now she is the leader of SZEMA (Free People for Hungary). She said n this interview that being a politician, even one from a liberal party, made it very difficult for her to come out. You may like her, you may not, but the fact remains: she is the only out gay woman in Hungarian politics.
At this year’s Pride Festival Opening Ceremony, Kriszta Székely said that all her previous loves were women. She has graduated in 2015 from the Academy of Drama and Film, and ever since she has been working as a director in Katona József Theater (considered to be one of the best theaters in Hungary). In her Pride speech, she said that she doesn’t think her coming out surprises anyone, and that she is very glad her identity is so obvious that it doesn’t inspire too many questions. She hopes the next step will be the whole thing becoming a non-issue. The question comes up in her work as well, she directed Petra von Kant, a play dealing with questions of gender identity and relationships.
You might remember Maris from our previous article, a list of vloggers. She definitely has a place on this list as well, especially because the relevant celebrities of the younger generation at least partially come from Youtube. Maris has 164.000 subscribers on her channel, and her coming out video from 2014 has more than 170.000 views. In her videos she talks openly about being a lesbian, her girlfriend, Klaudia, and basically everything else that might interest young girls.
+1 Hilda Gobbi
The plus one on the list, Hilda Gobbi is a somewhat iconic figure of gay women in Hungary, as well as a personal favorite of mine. I don’t think she had an actual coming out, her personal life doesn’t come up in her autobiograpy either. (The book is titled Közben, it hasn’t been translated into English yet.) She was in a long-term relationship with Hédi Temessy (an actress herself), as well as Erzsébet Galgóczi, who is one of the first female Hungarian authors openly writing about being a lesbian. The reason we have to talk about her, and the reason we need more icons like her is the fact her being gay didn’t affect her carreer whatsoever, even though she was open about it - and in the mid-20th century this is no small feat. She was a great actress, renowned for her work, who happened to be in relationships with women.
Translated by Julis Pándi