Roman, in his own words: “Being gay is a substantial part of my identity. As a gay I see life differently. It impacts my whole perception of the world, people, relationships, my personal value. It means I don′t accept stereotypes and prejudices, instead I always try to find the real value of things.
An acceptance of my true self in the depth of my heart was a huge challenge for me. I come from a small village where everything different is a big problem. To feel free in that kind of environment wasn′t easy. Living in bigger cities brought more freedom to my life, but it still wasn′t the kind of inner freedom I had longed for. The process of getting free was therefore the key challenge in my life.
And then there were those dark places, strongly connected with my gay identity. Fear, anger and that strange feeling of being sick. To become infected with those kind of thoughts and feelings was as easy as a pie, as there were no information about gays during my childhood, only a number of strongly homophobic views. Growing up in such a hetero-normative society is difficult for every gay person. It took a lot of my time and energy to understand that it is not me who is the problem here, but the society I live in.
I have always preferred telling the truth and I really don′t lie. It is so hard for me to hide and I never wanted to live like that. So, when I was 16 I came out to my best friend. When I saw she had absolutely no problem with it, I got so much energy and strength. My mother and grandmother were the next I came out to. They were surprised but later really supportive. It was really important for me.
Compared to bigger cities in the West (the gay community in Bratislava) is still too much in the closet and living more in gay online chats then in real life. But it′s changing. I have seen a big progress in the last couple of years. The scene is going to be more colourful. Gay people are more proud. And the majority is also changing, I see Bratislava as a tolerant city.
(Advice to my younger self) Do not hesitate to like yourself.:)”