For years now I’ve been searching for the lesbian community in Budapest that I would like to be part of. People who are similar of age or rather in the same stage of their lives as me: single-minded girls and women who are living an independent adult life and interested in LGBTQ topics - at least those affecting their everyday lives. People who have their goals in life and willing to work for them. Who can join me when going to all kinds of programs, parties or just have a beer on a Friday night. At last I came to the conclusion that maybe I should just stop looking for this community and start building it up instead. That’s how the idea of qLit.hu was born.
I go out each Saturday (strictly not to straight parties), join lesbian and gay programs, go to gay places, follow the most of LGBTQ life of Budapest, still, I have this feeling that I haven’t yet found my own place to be.
After years of searching for it, a mere disappointment struck me. There was no other option left at the peak of this bitterness than to make a decision: instead of whining and waiting for something to happen I was going to start whatever it needed to be initiated to change the scene.
I was imagining something that could address the girls and women too who are not an active part of Budapest’s lesbian life: who don’t participate in any programs, film screenings, don’t go to parties. Who are neither interested in activism nor in any specific lesbian stuff, but still, who would be open to some of these, just they, too are missing the community they would be happy to join. It was clear that something new had to be built up that would draw the attention of not just the same old people who you see every step you take. The circle is to be broadened.
My first idea was something like Why Not is now for boys. A place that anytime you hit to have a drink you have someone to chat with. A place offering programs and occasions that sooner or later form into a community. A community where new members are just as welcome as those who don’t need anything special just a drink from time to time. After thinking through the possibilities I came to the conclusion that this kind of community-building is only possible through opening my own pub - which I have no experience or budget whatsoever.
At this point the whole thing came to a halt. And then, it took a poke from a friend to come across the idea:
let’s make an online space first and with its help an online community.
Let’s attract people with the right content, let the community be formed from those who are interested in the same stuff as us. Who think simiraly about things or who are open to join in meaningful discussions/debates about topics. Let’s launch a magazine for lesbians* (although at the stake of easiness and consinstence we use the word lesbian*, all members of the community who identifies as lesbian, bisexual or queer girl/woman are addressed. The * at the end of lesbian* is intended to show this diversity) where all kinds of topics are picked up that are part of our lives. Topics from ways of having children and marrying habits of Hollywood celebrities to discussions about sex toys etc.
And, eventually, from this online hub an offline thing shall be launched. I don’t mean a print magazine but a real life, face-to-face community.
Everyone whom I have been sketching my idea to got enthusiastic and was very supportive. Ultimately I discovered my partner for the project: in the next post Eni is going to tell you about her motivation and how we proceeded from this point on.
Translation by Eni Várhelyi