Stop 1 - Budapest Pride
Photos courtesy of Marianna Kiss
Since we were spending our last day in Budapest at the Pride March, we invited each of Gábor’s family members if they wanted to join us and take one last opportunity to spend time with the kids before we leave Hungary. Each politely (well…) offered their excuse and passed; “I don’t like crowds”, “Marches remind me of the old communist days”, “I just don’t think it is the right way to go about things”. Each of them however suggested, indirectly (or even directly), that we best not take the children (“I can look after the kids while you go though”). None of them understand that the main reasons we go is FOR our children.
In Hungary today racist and homophobic sentiment has become as much a feature in small talk as the weather. Support for Hitler, advocating genocide; it all slips of the tongue as easily as “It’s a lovely day for it”. But what I found even worse than people making these kinds of statements was how rare it is that people stand up and speak out against them. Perhaps it is a legacy of Hungary’s history of dictatorial rule, but it seems that when hate and violence is being promoted you either join in or keep you head down so you can live a comfortable life. For us, Gay Pride is one of the best ways of demonstrating to our children that it is not OK just to keep quiet, rather we should stand up and make ourselves heard. But unlike them we will not shout in anger, hate and aggression, but with joy, love and celebration.
Photos courtesy of ontd-political
The idea of SOLIDARITY is important to Gábor and I and we hope that what ever our children grow up to believe in, I want them see the importance of showing solidarity for our fellow humans.
There are some who claim that LGBT have equal rights and what they ask for is “special right”. Frankly I find this insulting and clearly untrue. Consider my life:
· I was able to marry the person I loved,
· I was could start a family without having to justify my decision to any one,
· I can raise my children without public scrutiny,
· I have the security of knowing that if anything were to happen to me my children will be taken care of by my partner,
· I moved country and got my resident permit on “family ties”,
· I can contemplate increasing my family some day by adopting or fostering.
There are so many more aspects of my life that would be more difficult or impossible, even in Europe, if Gábor had been a woman.
Some than argue that these are not rights, rather they are “privileges”. I don’t care what you call them “rights” or “privileges”, if they are granted by the state then in a fair and democratic society they need to be granted to all. So, until they are, then my children (until they are old enough to make the decision for themselves) and I will march right alongside LGBTA at pride marches wherever we happen to be.
But besides lessons about Justice and Solidarity I want to give them the opportunity to learn about themselves. Our society today offers such a narrow definition of “girl” and “boy”, I would argue that, despite the best efforts of feminists, it is even worse than when I was growing up 25 years ago. Participating in Gay Pride is one that I see we can counter this and give my children a broader concept of “girl” and “boy”. There are so may different types of “men” and “women” that hopefully Ernest and Lily will understand that there is nothing they need to conform to they just need to be themselves and that they will be loved and supported by us no matter who they are.
There was a beautiful scene towards the end of the parade. Ernest started playing with and chasing his balloon down the long rainbow silk; so joyful, so oblivious to the looks or judgement from others (including the mass of photographers who also spotted this perfect photo moment).
This scene (and the pride march in general) epitomises my greatest wishes for my children’s life:
Be Happy. Be Free. Be Colourful.
Click the link for some more spectaculat pictures of the parade.