Nutsa, 24, Tbilisi

“I identify myself as queer. I’m neither lesbian, nor bisexual but I prefer girls for relationships. I admitted this to myself about two years ago and initially believed that god would punish me. I was brought up very religious and God-fearing. I did not know anything beyond my Orthodox religion. However, I later realized that God cannot be homophobic and if he existed he would not punish me. You have to find the strength to accept yourself first.

My problems may not be as grave as those of others, I don’t have such an image either. However, my problems are my friends who “don’t look like typical women”. My mother finds their look intolerable, which is the source of our argument almost every day. She says: “What is wrong with your friends!” Even if a friend of mine has no piercing or a tattoo but her hair be cut short, she is sure to say: “Why does that girl look like a boy?” or “Why are your friends always like that?!” I am forced to explain every little detail to her. Sometimes it starts in early morning and lasts all day. Sometime I just neglect her, but…

If I had already come out to my mother, I would be the happiest person. I think about doing it every day. What could possibly happen? She won’t drag me by hair, or beat me, or physically abuse me in any way. But there is another side to it – silence, dead silence when your beloved person is shunning you, ignoring you – this is what is to expect. When we fight she usually uses the silent treatment, which pains me, cripples me. She refuses to talk to me. She is the only family I’ve got, and I don’t want to hurt her. I hope she will get used to the idea after some time.”