On Friday, 14th of June, in cooperation with CNK Záhrada, we organized a second movie night with a discussion on the topic LGBTI –a group of people with, a minority sexual orientation. For this occasion, Emanuela, the initiator of the project, proposed the wonderful Italian documentary Parents reborn (Due Volte Genitori) which was created with the support of European grant program Daphne. The film presents especially the personal experiences of parents about the process, which they had to go trough, after they got to know that their children are homosexual. Emanuela organized an official projection of the film on our event and also arranged the creation of the Slovak subtitles for the film. Mainly thanks to her long-term effort, it turned out again that also in Slovakia is possible to organize successful events also on this topic. Although….
The event was promoted (mostly in Slovak and English) through social networks, e-mails and also official posters. We were curious to see who would come in the end. Just before six p. m., when the event was planned to begin, in center Zahrada mainly young people started coming. But paradoxically the most of them were foreigners: other volunteers and friends of the volunteers we host, but also foreign students and interns and so on.
In the audience there were also several representatives of the older generations, but again mainly foreigners. The projection took place with the help of Stanka, local interpreting student, thanks to whom it was possible also for people who don’t speak enough Slovak to understand the Slovak subtitles. That allowed everybody to listen to the extremely personal experiences of parents and relatives who made a huge effort to fight against their own prejudices, but also against the prejudices of others, so with their painful “rebirth” they became more integrated and “richer” people. The protagonists of this Italian documentary are real characters, who already don’t perceive the “difference” of their children as a burden, but as an enrichment for their family and for the whole society, too. It was really touching to follow the fate of these people as it was “at first hand”. Even more, so as thanks to this film they let us so deep into their own privacy. I think that they did this not only for their children to let other people identify with them and educate the society, but just for all these young people for whom the non-acceptance of their parents and the society is often a reason of very sad acts and destinies.
The film was seen by about 25 participants and most of them stayed also for the discussion, which took place after the film. During the discussion we, as organizers, were surprised by several things. Firstly – the fact that people wanted to discuss at all: the film was so deep and touching, that we had the feeling that the majority of people would prefer to digest quietly the impressions from it and obviously retreat after the projection. We were wrong: the majority of the participants stayed and the discussion was long and good. Secondly: the discussion was in English. But this was a logical consequence of the composition of the audience of the discussion. Among the people participating in the discussion there were just five Slovaks, four of them were organizers of the event. Therefore the common language of the majority was English, so our interpreter didn’t have to translate. Most of the participants described situations, connected with tolerance, or intolerance towards the people with minority sexual orientation in their countries. Therefore we got to know also some facts and news from Russia, Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, France for instance. Thanks to our experienced moderator Rado Sloboda from Amnesty International we made clear some details, the respective terminology and real facts about this field. We even tackled the reason why to such discussions come many more women than men.
Also thanks to the personal qualities of all the participants, I got the feeling of a very good event, which also convinced me that discussions about this and other similar topics related to tolerance towards difference and freedom as such are very needed in Slovakia. In my opinion it is worrying that the Slovak community pays so small attention to a topic, whose importance is evident and confirmed also in European grant schemes, including programs for non-formal education of young people. Ignoring this important topic, which directly involves approximately every sixth Slovak family, is actually discouraging and certainly says a lot about what kind of people we are. And also –on this we have a lot of work to do.
Even more luckily that here we have these young foreigners!
(Coordinator of the volunteers)
Translated into English by Vessy with the big help of Manu (for correction some inaccuracies with the translation :))