Nicolas, in his own words: “I guess (being gay is) just a part of me, a part of who I am and whom I can be proud of. Then being gay is also part of my daily life and will influence in a certain way places I go to for instance, people I meet or applications I tend to open on my smartphone when bored.
I worked for 6 years for a gay queer radio show. One guy I knew for not being a “gay community believer” asked me one day if I was part of the show out of militancy. It took me time to figure out the answer but I just said that, having had to go through harsh homophobic moments during my teenage years, having such a free speech show about queer/lgbt matters would have been helpful. So I was mainly doing the show hoping that it would help at least a few people the way I would have wanted to be helped.
As a matter of fact, the show aired its very last episode in June. We received a lot of mail from the audience when they heard it was gonna be over. One of the mail was from a guy explaining that he suffered from homophobia in boarding school and was listening to the show all week long to give him strength. So we helped. And I could not have been more proud than when I read this email.
I come from a small town and discovered homophobia maybe even before I could name what made me feel different. I started to come out to a few friends when I was about 15, I was terrified of their reactions but they were brilliant and really careful. Then, after an argument with her, I decided to come out to my mother. I did not have the guts to tell her so I wrote a letter. I came back home, we talked and she cried. Mainly because the only gay guy she heard of from our town became (apparently) was a prostitute in Paris. We did not talk about it for two years and then, she discovered that I had a boyfriend and realized being gay was not that different from “being anyone else”. I have to say, I was blessed when it came to coming out.
Brussels can be a small village sometimes but when it comes to the gay community, you have a lot happening. Even though we use to have more bars and parties a few years back, you’ll find a lot of good associations from sport to aids-fighting which happens to be very active. At the same time, we all know how gays can be sometimes and Brussels is no exception to this..
(Advice to my younger self) Stop doubting, stop thinking and act. Oh, and get rid of this stupid Judeo-Chistian guilt. Only you can be the judge of your actions. Go live.”