Back in 2016, I was on the Erasmus program in Budapest. I arrived in the cold for my Mediterranean taste Budapest at the end of January.
The first two weeks were a bit melancholic, cause I was missing my friends and life back in Athens and in the meantime, I was meeting new people every day which was great but sometimes frustrating. Part of the socialization of course was dating men from tinder and grindr ( both Hungarians and expats).
One of my first lovers there was a Hungarian ex-ballet dancer. I met him one of these gloomy February afternoons. He invited me to his tiny apartment in a central neighborhood of Budapest. We firstly had sex and then we chilled in his bed. We were vibing nicely and he was quite warm( especially for a Hungarian). We used to meet from time to time, maybe once in two weeks or so.
One night I was at his place watching a movie after sex. As we were discussing after the movie, the conversation came to lust and gay life. So at a point, he told me «I know that homosexuality is something abnormal but I accept my abnormality cause I can’t do anything about it ». I was quite shocked that a well-educated and well-traveled man like him (he was dancing for many years in the Hungarian ballets) was thinking this way about his own being.
As the conversation was going on and on I realized that this way of thinking (maybe it was the Catholic ethics that had affected him so much) had created a deep self-hatred man. We were arguing for some time as I couldn’t conceive how someone can have this point of view about his life. I was 22 back then and much less alert than I am now, so I’m sure I could have said much more and maybe been a bit aggressive with this mindset. At some point, I just quit trying and left. Never met him again, as I could not accept how a gay man can think this way about love, lust, and life in general. Also, I found that quite hypocritical and problematic in a way that I didn’t want to do anything with him anymore.
Six years after, more experienced and more mature, I m sure I am more alert to words like abnormality and I don’t care to be anyone’s psychologist. If I could be back in time, I would also tell him how his behavior made me feel about him. I was not that verbal back then. Strange thing is that I still believe that I would be as shocked as I was the first time. Maybe it’s because I can’t conceive this way of thinking and living. I know from my own experience that being raised in a conservative environment can affect you deeply in your first steps in the adult world, but I can’t accept that people are not trying to throw away whatever makes them feel miserable, sad, and angry with themselves. Of course, it’s not an easy procedure and it needs time and persistence but, to me at least, seems like the only way.