‘When my brother realised that he is pansexual and entered into a relationship with a man, it was a shock for my parents. But, step by step, they accepted it and today, it’s not even a topic that is discussed. Of course it took time, but that was the moment they showed their greatest support for my brother no matter how hard it was for them. I am not proud of this, but it was not until I started to face these questions within my family that I realised how significant they are in general. Because I personally am completely okay with any person’s orientation. Now I have experienced each step – sharing with parents, relatives, friends, and I saw for the first time how hard and scary it can be to be yourself.
When I was sharing our story with friends, they were all surprised at how liberal my parents were. Until that moment, I thought that almost every family would be just as supportive in a situation like this, and then I realised that things often don’t go nearly as smoothly. It saddens me that my brother lives in Germany and might never come back to live in Bulgaria. He also has friends who refuse to come back because they don’t feel free and safe tо share who they are.
For me, diversity is a way of living, a way of teaching basic values from an early age. It is a way of enriching my life, my mindset, my knowledge. When I was in the most diverse environment in terms of nationalities, cultures, age, gender, sexuality, I was as curious as a little kid – there was always something new to learn. That’s why I believe it is important to take action, because we create the environment we live in. Change is not a one-off action, it is a process and, in this case, it is a long process that we should start with baby steps. I believe every big company has an impact on society and has the power to become a “society shaper” and “trendsetter”. Therefore, it is important to support initiatives and causes that will make a positive impact on society’s well-being. I believe personal stories are the best teachers. Listening to what people from the LGBT*IQ community share, and what they and their relatives or close friends have experienced. That’s why sharing stories is essential in the company – especially coming as an example of openness from management.’