It was 2008, there was going to be a Pride Parade for the first time in Sofia. I went with a friend of mine, without even discussing it and giving it a second thought, I think we were thinking about it as the most natural thing in the world. I don’t know, maybe because I was 19. Or maybe because there really shouldn’t be anything worrying about it.

I have always thought and spoken about these things with great calmness and conviction. I was absolutely sure that I have no problem whatsoever when speaking about LGBT topics.

Now it is 2018. A few days ago, during a totally different conversation, a person asked me what I am rebelling against. My mind was blocked. I didn’t know what to say; and I have always been a fighter. “Homophobia” went through my mind immediately. But.. I stopped myself. I didn’t say it. I said some clichés. Now I am sitting and thinking. I am analyzing: why? Haven’t I always been free? Haven’t I always been unafraid? But my mind estimated everything for seconds and decided it prefers to keep quiet.

The truth is, we are all afraid, even when we do not know it. We think we are strong, able to take part in a dispute, to explain.. but that dark corner that we once crawled out of, it is still inside of us and sometimes it is our only place to hide. So today I realized that despite of all I have always thought, I am exactly as oppressed when trying to talk about my freedom as any other person that has ever felt less human because of somebody’s hate.

People should celebrate constantly. To celebrate that they are alive. To use their abilities and qualities, to multiply them, to improve themselves and their environment. After all, life is not that long and it seems to me that the most logical aspiration of human beings is the one for love and for anything that makes them feel happy and active. And because of that, when we feel oppressed, unable to express ourselves, our happiness, our love, we destroy ourselves, and by that we destroy the very texture of society.

I don’t ever want to feel unable to speak about what I want again. Pride and all the wonderful events that accompany it are a celebration. They mark a group of people’s happiness to be free and to be able to express something about them they believe is important. To share it with everybody.

It is time that we speak freely. That we move freely. In 2008 there were Molotov cocktails and stones thrown at us. Today there is laughter and music. Everything changes. Because there were people who kept supporting it, organizing it and attending it. Do you feel me? We ARE the process. The process doesn’t exist by its own, like some separate being. It is an action which is done by somebody – by us. Like change. It is nice to be part of this change.

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