René, in his own words: “(Being gay) is my sexuality, i.e. I am gay. Perhaps it has defined who I am in quite a few ways, perhaps it hasn’t. I tend believe that I am, that we all are, who we are. Sexuality is merely a part of that. (Dutch) Society however still focuses on your sexuality when it differs from the (social) norm; people tend to call me a gay person, whereas I see myself as a person. That simply means that eventhough we’ve come along way, we still have a long way to go. I long for the day when we all stop using the term “gay marriage” and see it for what it is: marriage. When we stop seeing someone’s sexuality, and start seeing the person instead.
I’ve had quite an easy life to be honest! My biggest success will be when I can be as openminded as I wanna be. That I don’t judge others anymore so easily and readily as I sometimes do. Reality is a bit different of course haha; I can be a real prejudiced bitch at times. So that makes it also my biggest challenge in life!
I don’t really have a coming out story. First time I ever told someone I’m gay was when I was 13, to my then best friend in school. And to him it didn’t come as a surprise. By the time I was 16 basically everyone in school knew as I didn’t make a secret out of it. My dad asked me if I was gay, so again no surprise there, to him or my mom. Honestly I dislike the term “coming out”; the fact that when your sexuality doesn’t conform to the norm (i.e. heterosexual, simply cos the majority of people is) should not imply that you have to stand up and tell people. People that truly know you and love you will take you for who you are. It’s basically about letting go of your expectations about others. Why expect what another person is like? Let them be!
Does something like a “gay community” exist? Perhaps. Here in Amsterdam we have different (gay) scenes but they intermix. As do other people, straight etc., mix with gay people. Okay, in my head it’s probably a tad more utopian than in real but still, I like to dream.
My advice to my younger self: believe in yourself and don’t be afraid of who you are. Don’t listen to negative things others say. Listen to positive criticism from people you trust. Oh and be as fabulous as you wanna be and last but not least: don’t spend all your money!”