Thursday, May 18, 2017

"The Truth About Who We Are..."

Tomáš, Process Analyst, Bratislava, Slovakia

by thegaymenproject

photos by Kevin Truong

Tomáš, in his own words: "(Being gay) is a part of who I am. I tend to consider it as a fact, the same as I have blue eyes or brown hair.

One of my greatest challenges (and success as well) was the struggle to accept myself being gay. It took a few years of my life to understand it, accept it and finally even like it. I've made some great mistakes when I was living with my ex in Prague, so another great struggle is to correct them and atone for them. I am also thinking of starting my own business, but struggle with the fear of uncertainty. And last but not least is finding a husband who would accept me as I am, help me to overcome my faults or bad habits, but won't let me down just because of them.

Actually, there are several (coming out) stories depending to whom I've came out:

Considering my friends, they were the first. I had fallen in love with a schoolmate - he was a professional bicyclist, and very handsome and muscular, so I one day I told him of my feelings. Of course it wasn't mutual, he was heterosexual, but thanked me for the bravery and we became good friends.

Considering my closest friends, I prepared a riddle for them, which I silently hoped they would never decipher. Actually, as Google started to be very popular at the time, it took them only about 20 minutes.

Considering my mother, it was one day after school. I had been chatting by SMS with some guy I recently discovered on the website. I came to a toilet and let my phone unguarded in my room. When I returned, I found my mum was reading my SMS messages and asked directly if I'm gay. So I responded with the truth. It took her about two weeks to accept it and start speaking to me again. However, she has never stalked another person's phone since then.

To my father, I came out during one of my fights. I actually used the information to hurt him, but he told me he already knew it and we moved on to fight about another topics.

The gay community in Bratislava is complicated, and quite promiscuise. I guess it has something to do with fact that the Slovakia is a quite Catholic and nationalistic country with many prejudices towards people who are different in any kind of the meaning to this word. You won't see guys holding each other hands or kissing in the streets; quite common is that guys do sleep with other guys on Saturday night and on Sunday morning they go with their parents to the church.

(Advice I would give to my younger self) would be kind of "you are who you are, so stop hating yourself."

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