Story no.17. Olena Shapovalova

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I’ve been thinking long where I should start. So I will start with me being banderivka, lesbian, photographer and DJ. I was born in Lviv and live there now. I am 35 years old. I’ve never had a coming out as such because I’ve never hidden anything – not from myself, not from others. I told my parents everything when I was 20-22 years old. I supposed that my mother was very sad with it because she wanted to have “normal” (to her mind) family, as other people had. My father got very aggressive first, he wanted to go somewhere and beat somebody 🙂 But everything worked out and he got used to his daughter having different mindset.  And my mother accepted my choice just recently (about 10 years passed) and even got on friendly terms with my girlfriend.

I’ve never had any negative situation or misunderstandings in the society, like in the university, at work, with my friends.

I am myself all my life (as it’s written on a yellow T-shirt of Women Network that we were given on camp in Poltava is 2003-2004).

It seems to me that you should learn WHO YOU ARE for yourself before you come out to others, and accept yourself the way you are. And not consider yourself loser that nobody can love (girls in this case). I don’t think that I am better or worse than heterosexuals – I am who I am. And people accept me and my choice/way of life. Many of my friends consider the fact that I’m dating a girl absolutely normal. Some of them may joke that it could not have been otherwise. I mean, this is normal life philosophy for them.

I’m very sad that we have to protect our rights and prove to the society that we are the same as they are – we all are people! I think that we may make the society accept US sharing our positive and informal stories and examples of open members of LGBT community. It is unfortunate that LGBT community is judged by specific, usually negative, incidents. But there are bastards everywhere and no one of us judges them and says that you all are perverts and have opposite-sex marriages, what a horror! (just joking)

I wish we all had understanding and tolerance for others.

Look around and smile – and live happily and emotionally with your smile and understanding of yourself.

Being yourself is a new norm.

I wish peace to us all.

Автор: Gay Alliance Ukraine

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