Wahrscheinlich habt ihr schon davon gehört. Die LGBTQIA+ Community: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual. Und das + steht für alle weiteren Geschlechtsidentitäten.
Christos Geschichte ist nur eine von vielen, die beschreibt was viele gesundheitlich durchmachen müssen. Diskriminierungen und gesellschaftlicher Ausschluss gehören heute immer noch zum Alltag dazu. Auch wenn sich die rechtlichen Rahmenbedingungen für homo- und bisexuelle Menschen in Deutschland schon schrittweise verbessert haben, bestehen für trans- und intergeschlechtliche Personen noch immer große Defizite. Seit 2018 ist es möglich neben „weiblich“ und „männlich“ auch „divers“ in den Ausweisdokumenten eintragen zu lassen oder die Angaben offen zu lassen. Diese gesellschaftliche Zweigeschlechtlichkeit und Ausrichtung an einer Heterosexualität haben großen Einfluss auf die Lebenssituation und Gesundheit aller lesbischen, schwulen, bisexuellen, trans- und intergeschlechtlichen Menschen. Internationale Studien ergeben, dass sie viel häufiger an depressiven Erkrankungen leiden. Andersherum erleben sie gesundheitliches Wohlbefinden, wenn sie hinsichtlich ihrer sexuellen Orientierung diskriminierungsfrei leben können. Sind wir in der heutigen Zeit nicht alle EINS, ein WIR, eine Gemeinschaft? Sollte man meinen.. aber leider ist es nicht so. Wir von her1 wollen ein Zeichen setzen, mit Christos Story einen weiteren Versuch starten und aufklären, was viele in unserer Gemeinschaft leider immer noch durchmachen müssen:
“The LGBTQIA+ community is what we call a minority, whatever we like this term or not - I personally dislike it - it is here to describe a group of people suffering from discrimination, aggression, and an oppressive system. Minorities suffer from mental and physical issues, and this is why I came to express myself about a subject that we need to talk about. I’m Christo, queer & non-binary, my pronouns are they/them, and I grew up as a white cisgender boy, potentially gay. I’m here to tell you a bit about my own story, because I would rather share my own experience than talking on behalf of other people's lives. This narrative is my own, and I can only speak for myself today.
I was born in a small village in the South of France, I hear you already saying “owe, south of France”, and it’s true it is a beautiful place to grow up. I don’t like to complain about my life because I acknowledge the fact that I’m quite privileged. I think growing there came with a lot of joy, freedom and happiness, but it also came with its down sides. I was the little boy surrounded by all the girls, I was the one that girls liked and that loads of boys hated. My parents and especially my mum always gave me a lot of freedom in the choices that I was making, she was most of the time supportive. My sister was my best friend and my best enemy depending on times, she’s almost 5 years older than I am, I wanted to be just like her. I wanted to sing, I wanted to dress up with her, I wanted to play with dolls with her and wanted her barbie dolls to play with my action man dolls, so that’s what we did.
Things radically changed at some point, from being seen as slightly different to being insulted and bullied, when I entered what we call “college” in France at the age of 11. In my souvenir, I was hated by the boys, the oldest girls were protecting me for a while, so I felt quite safe until they left. At the age of 12. I think I entered this rebellion phase to protect myself from this toxic environment. As long as I remember my first depressive phase came at this age, I was often tired, I would cry before going to school, and I wouldn’t tell anyone. I had to be strong, show no emotions, just like society tells boys to be. With years I got more and more sad, I got more impulsive, angry, and sometimes even violent. I would seek ways to be seen, ways to secretly ask for help. And at this point I also stopped singing which was something that really fulfilled me with joy. The year after, one guy that disliked me kicked me in the back, I was projected on the floor for about 5 meters, my back was blocked. Two years later, I was part of the oldest ones, it was time for us to be the bullies and we didn’t do much more than taking comic books from people’s hand reading in the library, to put them back in their boxes. I felt guilty about this behaviour until recently. At the end of this year, the summer before going to high school I was violently bullied by a group of jocks, they caught and attached me to rugby posts with hard tape until I could get myself out of it, my girl friends were screaming asking them to stop this. Later, they attached me to a table while I was sleeping, they turned the table, I was face down on the ground, they walked and jumped on that table. I was humiliated, I was 14, and a part of my inner child stayed there. I never talked about it to my parents or anyone until I was 25, I was “just” laughing about this scene from time to time, until a friend of mine, back in 2017, made me reflect on what happened, and I could then acknowledge the potential impact. That’s when it all started to spiral.
Years have passed and I got through high school where the same kinda things happened in a “less violent way”. I was known as one of the faggot while not being even out. Later, I was outed by someone and I can say this experience shouldn’t be felt by anyone, we should be the ones telling our own stories. I lost the bit of confidence that was left in me there. The things that kept me alive were the new discoveries in life, feelings and most of it all, the support and love from a big group of friends, 99% of them being women. This constructed a lot of the person I am today. Step by step, I became a teenager who loved to party, loved to drink and needed to be loved. Growing up as an adult that’s how I faced things, getting substances in my body in order to live, in order to feel. I retained so much for so long that I was accumulating things that needed to get out of my mind, through my body. Dancing on music was one way to survive, being with my friends was the only thing that mattered. I wanted to live and I felt so lucky to do so.
At the age of 21, I started putting words on the bullying while finishing my bachelor and started realizing the things that happened to me in the past.I started being angry at society for us, minorities, for kids, not being allowed to be their true self. I would feel unsafe if I came across one guy, even in a small town. My self esteem was so low that I was in love of a toxic relationship with my very first long term boyfriend. I felt like this on and off relationship was what I deserved. Before turning 23, I moved to Berlin, I was just getting over this relationship, and had a huge work opportunity. It changed a lot of things, and since then I knew Berlin was home. I had a big career ascension, everything went so quick, once again, too quick probably. But things happen for a reason. This was the last step before realizing that some things were wrong and needed to be fixed. I burned out, started to see a business coach who helped me realize I needed to let go of things, and then started therapy.
Beginning 2018, I put one intention on the coming year : learning how to love myself. It started with me, deciding to quit the job that changed my life. “Why would you do that?” I asked myself many times, but I kept following my gut feeling, and somehow I knew it was my path. I had to face depression, and overall my true self. Learning how to love myself made me realize how precious I could be, that this story that I just told you destroyed me, but also made me the person I am today. I needed to accept things in order to leave them behind. I pressed pause many times because I needed to. 2018 was the year that changed so many things in my life, and since then things got more beautiful. It comes with its ups and its downs, it’s not always easy, but I know almost everyday that it is gonna be okay. Because I am here for myself now, I’m trying this thing where I am my first priority, because no one should do that for me. I have more keys in my hands to open the doors I wanna open, and I can close them when I need to. I have been a victim and I’m not scared to say so, this doesn’t mean that it still has to define me. Because if I keep on hurting myself, I will hurt others on the way, and I don’t want that. I came from a long way and sometimes it feels like I lived a few lives in one. I take life as it comes, and I’m getting more and more conscious of what’s going on in my mind, in my body. Now, health is a priority for me.
With years, it came up to me that I framed myself into a binary system where I had to make a choice about my sexuality, so I set myself gay, thinking I could love only cisgender boys. Something felt wrong along the way, but I lived with it. Until some answers came to me, step by step, And I realized that the labels put on me were not mine, they were the ones given by the society we live in. It took me a while to acknowledge the truth about my gender and another while for me to finally get things out of my mouth. Today, I still have to put my fist on the table sometimes and say no, I still have to fight for my rights and other people’s rights. Not only because I want to, but because I also owe this to the community. I’m non-binary but wether I feel like neither like man nor a woman, it is my own business. Every now and then, I am being asked questions other people wouldn’t be asked, I face some bad looks, and even insult sometimes. What changed is that I know my worth. Some days, I’ll stand up for myself and take a potential risk, and some days I’ll ignore them because I don’t have the mental space. It is a never ending process, and I’m happy to be part of a community that embraces the differences that we have.
I’m still paying the price of being myself. I’m still scared at night, I still change my way when I come across a group of men, I still fake a conversation on the phone sometimes just because I will feel safer in the park. But remember one thing, life is such a precious adventure, and whatever dramas I went through, I’m driven by the sunshine at the end of the tunnel. I’m driven by the clouds leaving the sky to leave it blue. Sometimes, it will get cloudier, and I learnt to accept that. That’s what makes me me, that’s what makes me unique, just like things that make you you. Telling that story might seem easy here but it took me days to write about it, it took me years to recall souvenirs, years to acknowledge things that happened and the impact it had on me, on my life, on my mental health. It will still take me years to heal from everything, it takes a lot of energy, a lot of time, a lot of courage, and a lot of money. This is a never ending process I’m lucky I have started that others don’t have access to.
Difference and diversity should be celebrated everyday in our lives, not only in June.
We are 1, we are her1.”