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For understandable reasons we will call her N.N. She turned 30 this year and works as a consultant. Ever since her early childhood, he understood she is different from her peers. She had her first girlfriend with 15. She did not experiment too much, because she knew back than she is into same sex. For the last two years, she is in a relationship with A.D. They live together, but are currently separated due to their work. This is their story.
” I have met A.D. accidentally, in a bar through a mutual friend. We spent the evening talking about everything and realized that we have incommon the same sense of humor of cheap American sitcoms from the 80’s which was the first thing that brought us together”,says N.N. with that sparkle in her eyes as she is speaking about her better half, as she puts it.
“Getting to know each other lasted for about a month or two. We went out together, started hanging out. Endless phone chats and everything else that goes with classical way of flirting” continues A.D., who is still in college, but works part time jobs through student service and is currently living in France.
The last two and a half years are described by both as exceptional. They are spending all of their free time together and they travel together when they have free time.
” I do not think it was luck or some kind of higher force. These are the things that just happen. These big things also happen to other people, people are burdened with past experiences and rumors, so they are not able to recognize them and just give in. People then call it bad luck but I would call it lack of guts for embracing life, with all good and bad stories which it brings”, says N.N.
Virtues are flaws and flaws are virtues. We are special in our own kind of way and things are never strictly black or white. So, it is a full specter of colors which should be accepted. When you love someone, you love all their colors, moods, decisions, their ways. To me personally, it is important that the person stands with both feet on the ground and is mature, decisive, with attitude and courage. I have found that in my partner.
How hard is to maintain the relationship in a homophobic society, they both say that it depends on the environment where you are.
“We mingle in circles which are not homophobic and that is why things are not so difficult. We are definitely not planning to have our future in Bosnia and Herzegovina, so we are not really bothered with limitations in this first deeply patriarchal, over traditional and homophobic society, which excludes and discriminates not only LGBT population but also all other ways of life which do not fit in the matrix of dominant ideologies.”
A.D. came out to her family about her sexuality and they accept it unconditionally. Nevertheless, hate speech and other forms of violence is what get her. She personally witnessed some unpleasant situations.
” There were countless situations , from getting called out on the street to violent attacks on gay friendly spots, where a mob of people without any life compass takes the right to play a moral police and attack someone just because they are drinking coffee at a particular spot that they consider as gay gathering spot.”
Being closer to EU, surrounding countries were forced to politically support LGBT population and to adopt legislation which guarantees freedom and rights. This is not a case in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but that’s the path we will need to follow and what is taboo today, tomorrow will be law which will need to be adhered to.
The girls are not supporting the Pride, as it is organized in the region.
” Our people do not understand the concept of Pride. It is because our people sexualize the LGBT population and reduce them to two bodies having sex and that’s it. Homosexuals are real persons as any other but they do not have the same rights as all others and that’s the reason why they should go on the streets”.
There are bars and cafes which are inclusive and gay friendly,”says N.N. “These places are working despite the violence aimed toward the people who visit them. These are bright examples of resistance,” she continues, expressing her support to communities which are working on improving visibility of LGBT populations, their rights and identity. However, both girls conclude:
“Plans for future are connected to leaving Bosnia and Herzegovina because of private and even more professional reasons. I can imagine anything I want, but Bosnia and Herzegovina has its own path and compass directed to EU and on this path the attitude of our country towards LGBT population will have to change to a more inclusive approach and a society of equality and justice. The other path for BiH does not exist and that is inevitability which is going to happen.”