We both love Romania. That’s no big secret. Romania is no fan of the LGBT community, however. I had a taste of what it is like to be a gay man there when we lived in Brasov in 2013. While there have been positive changes—mostly because of the fall of Communism and the necessary changes to become part of the European Union—things are still not where they need to be for the LGBT people living there.
After the interviews I did with gay people living in Malaysia, I received many requests to continue the series in other countries where it can be challenging to be gay. In a country where people feel they have to remain deeply embedded in the closet, it can be tough finding someone who is willing to speak about their experiences, even anonymously. Thankfully, “C,” a young gay man living in western Romania has stepped forward.
Please tell our readers a little about yourself including your name, age, and anything else you think would be helpful.
C, 22 years old and still in the closet. The only people that know about me are my parents, who are embarrassed and don’t accept the situation. Living a quiet life after a disappointing relationship.
At what point did you realize you were gay, and did it take you a while to accept it?
I think I knew about this when I was 6 or 7 years old, but I didn’t know how to name it. At around 17-18 I knew that I was gay. The way I found out was that I felt attraction for a teacher from school.
Romania is a religiously conservative country. What role has religion played in your life growing up, and what role does it play for you as an adult now?
My family wasn’t a very religious one. Everyone had their own beliefs. My father is atheist, my sister the same, and I’m the same. We never went to church, and we weren’t connected to the church. I was baptized Catholic but that’s all. Now it’s the same thing, I don’t find any connection with religion.
Are you able to be out with your family members? Coworkers?
My family found out some months ago, but they don’t like it. They don’t accept it, and they don’t want to speak about it. My sister and my father are not talking to me now. Nobody else in Romania knows about me. Outside, I have friends that know the truth.
When my mother found out, she told me that she had pills (like vitamins) for the family, and she put together a list of psychologists for me to see.
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