Roman, in his own words: “I have come a long way in understanding and accepting myself as gay. Coming from Moldova, a small and socially conservative Eastern European country ruled by an unstable quasi-Soviet political regime and a highly homophobic society, my road to acceptance has not been simple. For 22 years of my life my family, neighbors and countryman compelled me to live in a society with rigid understanding of traditions imposed by religion, patriarchic social customs, superstitions and old-fashioned rules of acceptable behavior. Being gay in Moldova is nothing short of a life sentence to constant fear, loneliness, rejection, blackmail and torture. Gay people in that country are abused, beaten, raped or killed without getting any protection from local police, media or courts. Homophobia in Moldova is so widespread that gays are considered sub-human and not worthy of mention. After I had my share of bad experiences, I left Moldova and found myself in the United States.
The past three years have not been easy. Years of fear and abuse left a deep imprint on me, yet for the first time in my still rather short life, I found strength to admit to myself and my new friends that I am gay. Now I live in New York. After a multitude of new experiences, I am working on my professional career, feel liberated to seek gay friends and partners and joined a group that provides help to those who, like I, seek freedom to safely live as who they are. I currently volunteer for an amazing not-for-profit organization called No More Fear Foundation based in New York City. It allows me to help other LGBT asylum seekers who run from their native lands to the United States filled with fear, threatened and abused by their countries’ regimes, homophobic societies and their families. Notwithstanding all the pain and fear, I escaped and survived and I am grateful that I am given a chance to help others do the same.
So now I’m happy. I can finally live, breathe, speak and express myself freely without fear. I still have a long way to go, but I am sure that my future is safe and bright.”