Budapest Pride March 2017 - Is you free?

Budapest Pride Felvonulás 2016. Fotó: Davda Bereznai
Budapest Pride Felvonulás 2016. Fotó: Davda Bereznai

Is there freedom of choice? Is there freedom of thought? Is there freedom of love? Is there freedom of self-expression? Is there safety? Is there free life?
Is a human being free when forced between fences? Is any opportunity free and can it remain open when it is limited by invisible, yet powerful boundaries? Is anything that can be shut down or outlawed truly free?

What about you? Is you free?

As it stands today, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people in Hungary cannot live freely. Many of us have to live hiding or in fear, unable to make our own important, life-defining choices. We are not free to openly and honestly talk about ourselves and our feelings without the risk of being stigmatised, abused, or discriminated against. We cannot decide who we want to live with and how, and whom we consider as family without the government doing all they can to set legal and political barriers to our mere existence. In the last couple of years we were not allowed to decide whether to hold a demonstration without being isolated from a society that we are part of. We are constantly forced to choose between freedom or safety, but it seems that no matter what we choose, we are granted either fully. Hiding, being secretive, settling for less and giving up strip us from our freedom and are just as ineffective in guaranteeing our safety as a demonstration that is completely cordoned off. 

The time has finally come for us to say it out loud: similar rights are not the same as equal rights, in any area of life. An option that is offered to you is not the same as you making an entirely free choice. A forced decision is not a free decision, just as a limited life is not a free one. It's time for us to stand together and start creating freedom of our own.

It's our turn to prove that we no longer need to hide, keep quiet or be isolated from others in order to remain safe. In fact, we believe that a safe environment consists of the exact opposite: paying attention to each other, accepting our diversity, standing up for our rights, and making our own choices freely.

On July 8th, let's all meet at Kossuth Lajos tér, where last year we promised each other that we will no longer let ourselves be cordoned off, silenced and intimidated and let’s show that we stand up for ourselves, our rights, and each other. That we will not settle for less than freedom that every person is entitled to.