LGBTQ+ History Month

For the LGBTQ+ community of Romania October represents more than the 10th month in the calendar, it represents the triumph of tolerance over bigotry, as it is marked by the failure of the 2018 referendum which had fueled the larger society with hate against the LGBTQ community. As this month is of importance for the community, it was declared the LGBTQ+ History Month in Romania and it encompasses a series of events that promote culture, activism and history.

Throughout time, the LGBTQ community in Romania has been dislocated from history and pushed into hidden places within society. This events answers to the need to know who we are today, as a community, and also how we got here, in a country like Romania where, historically, all minorities were made invisible. It is also a chance for friends and allies to get a glimpse of the communities past and understand the importance of standing up together for human rights and be mindful and celebrate other events with the community.

During this month, in Timișoara, Identity.Education had a series of events that talked about history, activism and culture. Together with the local community, the week of 22nd – 26th of October was about us. Over 200 community members and allies participated at the events.

On 22nd of October, at 19:00, we watched the theater play “Rândul 3, aproape de margine" by Reactor Cluj. This play managed to walk us through 100 years of history, 100 years of stories based on real characters from the gay community in Romania. We see 3 different cases from 3 periods of time, but all of them are under the same pressure: persecutions and social exclusion. The characters portrayed in the play chose to not show their emotions and feelings, and even to leave the country in search of a new society that accepts them as they are. The play does not rely on sexual and historical barriers, but manages to express one thing: we need to believe in love, we need to protect it.

On the 24th of October we organized a queer city tour, in partnership with our friend from Timișoara Tour Guide. We approached history from a different angle and, through this historical city tour, we saw places which are key elements for the gay community in Timișoara. We heard stories and met people who were brave enough to share their experiences with us. This showed us that our history has so many faces.

The day of 25th marked the last day of events. And what a better way to end this, but with a Queer History Museum expo and an open conversation with Florin Buhuceanu (ACCEPT Romania) and Dominic Brezianu (poet and one of the first men to come out as gay in Romania). We talked about the community’s past in Romania and we learned that the LGBTQ+ community was forced to stay hidden from the rest of the society. This event wanted to bring to surface the need for visibility, of who we are today. We discovered that we managed to survive a time and place that wanted the minorities to be invisible.

LGBTQI+ History Month in Timișoara was organized in partnership with the Timișoara2021 Association, as these events were included in the 2019 programme for the “Fluid Views” trail programme from the official bidbook. The events were implemented with financial support from The Embassy of Canada and MozaiQ.