Hrrrnk. It’s time for the latest instalment of my That Gay Guy series – a blog series in which I interview gay guys from all over the world as they share their stories about gay life where they happen to live – the joys and the challenges, the battles and triumphs. This week, I chew the fat with Janos who tells me all about gay life in Budapest, Hungary.

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What was it like to grow up as a gay kid in Budapest, Hungary?

As a kid I think it was all quite normal, however, high-school was rather difficult without being able to be open and truly myself – that is when I realized differences in my sexual interest.


What do you think is the general attitude towards gay people in Budapest and Hungary?

There is a very antigay and homophobe propaganda supported by the government and also the radical right-wing groups, but I think the everyday people do not even care about gay issues, only some surveys show that local people do indeed hate gays.


Are there any specific challenges that gay men in Budapest and Hungary face?

I do not know about gay men related issues only, but in general the constitution of Hungary is very discriminatory against gay rights – adoption, marriage.


gay budapest hungaryGay people in Hungary have slowly gained more rights. What do you think it will take for Hungary to legalise same sex marriage?

Only the lawmakers should make it simply possible, the people in this country have bigger problems than equal rights, they simply do not care. Only the antigay propaganda should finally stop.


Have you taken part in any Gay Pride events in Hungary or Budapest? If so, what was your experience?

This year was my very first time when I joined the march but somehow I missed all the other programs. Except for being completely separated from everyone, the march was fun, many people got together and I think I will be there next year too.

There were some incidents though when some fascists managed to cause some problems, but the police was rather efficient.

I just felt that we were completely separated – just like in real life sometimes.


Describe Budapest’s gay scene for me. Which are your favourite places for drinking, dancing, and meeting other guys

I really do not know anything about it… I have heard about 2 gay clubs, I know 2 gay bars and 1 sauna, but pretty much that is all I know about it. I really have no idea where gay guys hang out… It also makes it quite difficult for me to meet someone special.


If you had one piece of advice for a gay traveller visiting Budapest, what would it be?

The Castle district is quite nice and downtown is full of “Ruin pubs” which became extremely popular in the last few years.


What is your favourite thing, gay or otherwise, about living in Budapest?

The city looks beautiful at night with the lights on.


What future would you like to see for gay people in Budapest?

I would love to see the same progress as in the USA: equal right campaigns pull down all discriminatory laws in states every day.

I believe that people are very narrow minded and under-motivated and neutral about gay issues – that should change, but I am afraid it won’t happen anytime soon.


Have you travelled at all yourself? If so, which is your favourite destination for gay travel and why?

I have even lived in a few countries: my absolute No1. is The Netherlands – I have lived there for 18months and loved how nice, caring, helpful the people are there. You can be yourself, nobody will stop you from living your own life the way you want (within legal borders of course)


And finally, could you sum up Gay Budapest in three words?

Hungary is not gay at all – not even gay friendly…


A huge thank you to Janos for agreeing to being interviewed. And make sure you check out the other interviews in the series:

M.A.H talks gay Pakistan

Yareth talks gay Rotterdam

Doug talks gay Antigua, Guatemala


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