Category: City: Bratislava, Slovakia

Roman, Party Promoter/Cafe Owner, Bratislava, Slovakia

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
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.:)”

Marcus, Network Desk Operator/Animal Activist, Bratislava, Slovakia

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
Marcus, in his own words: “For me being gay expresses mostly the sexuality and gender that you are attracted most to, and who you choose to love. It also means being yourself, to live life how you want without restrictions, to kiss your partner when you feel you want to, hold his hand, and to love passionately.

Well, there were many challenges (in my life) and I believe that all of them has its importance and moves you forward. When I was a teenager I was pretty curious about sexuality and sex itself, so I had met a few guys to have fun with. But the first one I had met, gave me something that others hadn’t, so we had kind of a relationship. He was a person with some past, so he practically showed me the gay scene. I trusted him, and betrayal happened. It was some time that we were not in much contact. I had to do some checkups, and the doctor also needed to test my partner, so I informed him, but the doctor said he was not coming, therefore I gave her his name. The next information that was given to me was that this man was tested for HIV and his results were positive. The worst thing is that he knew and didn’t tell me anything. It was a really hard part of my life for me and my family. Luckily the tests said I was healthy. I still get tested regularly and I also check and ask my partners about their health.

Now I can say that the success is that I’m healthy and alive (haha) J but it is true. Things at home weren’t as good as I would like them to be at that time, so I was dreaming about living on my own live. The first time I left was when I was 17. I had graduated from high school, while I had a little business with jewelry with my boyfriend. That guy that I had met when I was 17 and I realized that I wanted him so much, that I decided I had to get him, so that was the success no. 2 :) We were together a lot of beautiful and hard times as well, that kind of relationship gives you the experiences you need. And today I live with my friends in Bratislava, and I have job that I love, perfect people around me, am living a vegan lifestyle, and investing my free time in activism for animals and the environment.

My coming out story is long, it is being done as I go. When it comes to the topic, when somebody asks me about my partner I just respond about him in the masculine gender and thats it, sometimes people get it just as we have the conversation. However it started with my mom, when I was watching, or more like staring at Marilyn Manson’s clip (I think it was this is the new shit) actually I was staring at him because of his extravagancy, but she asked me if I was a bisexual so I just replied yes. She wasn’t excited about it, but I didn’t care 😉 We just had it hard with each other.

The gay community in Bratislava is.. .hmm thats the hard question. It is colorful like a rainbow I would say. Mostly you find here a lot of hookups like everywhere I think. Then there are the best guys that you don’t find because they already have boyfriends or they are just hidden, pretending to be straight. And then normal guys like me that are waiting for the right one, while working on myself.

To my younger myself I would give advice about being self-confident and to look at the things from a higher perspective. Every time. And mostly in hard times. Also to know that everything will always be okay, and if it is not, it is not the end. Everything happens for a reason and has its purpose. Always think with your head, don’t let others think for you! Live like a party monster, don’t dream it, be it!”

Tomáš, Process Analyst, Bratislava, Slovakia

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo 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.”