Where being gay is a “death sentence”

As the Budapest Pride is being held for the 23rd time, in the Hungarian countryside there is not much to celebrate: away from the capital being LGBT+ is still the ultimate taboo.

Ivett Körösi
Ivett Körösi Nepszava, Hungary
Source: Nepszava
Where being gay is a “death sentence” - NewsMavens
Man shushing. Burst.

Why this story matters:

“Living in a city of a few thousand inhabitants and having the stigma [of being gay] is equal to a death sentence,” says a Hungarian man describing his life in a small town.

His experience is far from unique. Several people from all around the country told Népszava about the challenges they face in remote communities. In some regions it is almost impossible for gay couples to rent an apartment; those who are members of a religious community risk being disowned; and even if they are accepted by friends and family loneliness is a frequent obstacle to a happy and fulfilling life.

Some move to Budapest to start a new life while others make it a habit to escape to the big city to enjoy themselves for weekend without having to worry about someone finding out their secret. 

Details from the story:

  • Kornél is a gay man. Only his parents and siblings know about his orientation. He told his extended family and friends that he has a girlfriend.
  • Ivett is a lesbian woman living in the south of the country. Her dream is to move in with her girlfriend but she says it impossible: no landlord would rent them an apartment. 
  • Ivett also told the story of a religious gay friend who, during a confession, came out to the priest. Weeks later the priest told this same person to leave the community, and threatened to reveal their orientation if they did not comply. 
  • Peter Földvári moved to Budapest from Kaposvár seven years ago, when he came out. He was 40. One of the biggest challenges for those who stay in the countryside is loneliness, he said. Most gays don’t come out, and as a result there are no events and places to meet people and relax.
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