I always felt like I was born into a strange body. When I was 19 years old, I realized that I'm transsexual. I felt relieved, but also afraid: homosexuality, let alone transsexuality, is not approved of in my country, and if anyone would find out, my life would be in danger. Much struggling and suffering until the age of 25 years old followed. I couldn't finish my education. I was isolated from my society and family - but I don’t want to go into that in details.
I decided to leave my country to go somewhere where I can live safely and finally be who I am. I flew to Hungary and stayed there for a week and then decided to go on to Denmark. This was because I had read a lot about different EU countries to find out where it would be safe for LGBTQI people. I did not, however, know about the Dublin regulation: and so I went to Denmark, made friends, applied for asylum. After seven months they said I would be deported back to Hungary because of the Dublin regulation, they contacted the Hungarian authorities and got a positive answer from the Hungarian immigration office that I had passed through the country. And so they put me on an aeroplane in 2013, next to me a guard, and deported me to Hungary.
Now it's been almost 3 years that I have been living here. I was lucky, and I had a very good lawyer from an independent NGO that provides legal aid for asylum seekers. I got refugee status, I made some friends, I was proud to identify publicly as a transsexual. But that did not solve the core issue: I could have stayed anywhere for this: what I needed was the process of changing my sex, and for this I needed a whole separate kind of special support which I did not get. The Hungarian authorities and bureaucrats did not know what to do with me.
I found an NGO that helps transsexual people in Hungary, Transvanilla. I started my hormone treatment, and immediately felt better. Indeed, it is ironic how in the last three years I constantly feel more and more like who I really am. I feel liberated, but at the same time, I feel more and more oppressed because of the way the Hungarian state is dealing with me.
The problems started with the documents. I have a Hungarian ID card, like all refugees in Hungary. With my hormone treatment, I should now change my ID card to reflect my true gender, soon to be my biological gender as well. To my great shock, the authorities refused. Thinking of how I was given refugee status exactly because I am transgender, I could not believe that they would not recognize it after that.
I was told that they cannot change my ID card because I was not born here. Also, it seems like I am the first person with such an issue in a long time, and they did not know what to do: so they denied me. I could not believe it. I could not, of course, get any papers from the embassy of my home country, because I have been granted international protection from that very state. Transvanilla helped me to bring my case to the court, but this takes a lot of money: we don’t have the financial means to continue. When I show my ID to authorities, or to anyone for that matter, they mock me: this is not how you look like, this is not your real ID, the ID card says it’s a girl ID card, why do you look like a boy now. It maybe sounds very harmless, but the way my haircut, the little beard that I am finally growing, is being made fun of - it feels like my whole identity is questioned. I try to keep my head up high, but I am tired of defending myself and my right to exist every time I need to show my ID.
With this blogpost, I would like to send a few messages: to LGBTQI people, I would like to say: fight for your rights. You are not alone. But stay away from Hungary until it changes, and the Hungarian government starts respecting the rights of LGBTQ people. To the Hungarian government, I would like to say: stop discriminating people. To other countries in the European Union, I would like to say: please do not deport anyone back to Hungary, especially LGBTQI people.