Po, 2013

Published on 2017-11-14

Mons, Belgium

When did you realize that you were gay?
“I began to think about this when I was 18, but I know that stuff was happening in my head when I was about 5. At first I really prayed to god that I did not have this problem as I was already a woman, black and disabled, so I had enough to deal with.”

Who knows?
“Some close friends in my hometown. My best friend had some problems with it. We spent a few months not talking. But since then, I am the president of the LGBTQ association, so it’s impossible to not know that. My family does not know.”

What do you think will happen?
“I think we will not see each other for a long time after that. I think I will not be in touch with my parents and my family anymore. My parents will ask me to not make a lot of noise about it because in the Congolese community a lot of people talk. Family is important. They don’t like anything about marginal people and its important to be normal. For them, this is not normal.”

Is your sexual orientation important to your identity?
“Yes, I guess it makes a lot about who I am. It’s like being black, it builds up a big part of my personality. It’s actually the same for gender. I would love that it would not be so important in the world, but it is.”

What do you think the future holds for the gay community in Belgium?
“Belgium is complicated because we have other political and legal matters that are in good in comparison to other countries. We are the second country to legalize same sex marriages. But at the same time, the everyday life is complicated because law is very quick. It’s a big issue in this country. It is difficult to make people think differently about sexual orientation and gender. In Belgium since we have a fight for legal and political recognition, we don’t allow the queer people to be visible. I hope we will be able to welcome everyone and make everyone visible.”