Ana, 24, Tbilisi

„I was 12 years old when I realized my sexual orientation. I tried hard to keep it secret. I retired into my shell trying to hide everything. I found that rather hard…I found it hard to realize and find my own self. Although everything seemed to be all right I still felt some inner discomfort. I was in love with my closest friend but I did not say anything. I was afraid to lose her. I was not sure about her reaction and I did not know how to come out.

When I told one of my friends about my sexual orientation and she accepted that normally, I relaxed and came out to others. I came out to my childhood friends, although I was rather nervous but they had a very cute reaction, they hugged me. I have already come out to all of my friends. One of my friends told me later that she had felt a big discomfort whenever people around her had said homophobic things.

The people in my current work environment are non-homophobic. But the environment at my previous job, where there were only males, was homophobic and sexist. All that really got on my nerves. They used to say very sexist jokes and never thought that this could have hurt a person sitting next to them.

I wish my sexual orientation were an ordinary phenomenon so that I would not have to call it some name. I do not want people to focus on my clothing style and do not want to be pushed by environment to fit myself into one style. I do not like those gender stereotypes. Sometimes I may wear rather feminine clothes but at other times quite the opposite, I may dress masculine. And I do not want this to become the matter of discussion.
I want these attitudes to change so much! I want to live freely, to have parades similar to those held in other countries. I do not want some groups to be marginalized. I want society to be free from phobias. But I think the attitudes have changed a bit. People talk more about homosexuality, which has consequently increased aggression. But I think this aggression will fade away after we get through this stage.“

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