First let me just say a few words about the country I live in, but was also born in 26 years ago. It’s called Luxembourg and is mostly known for its small size and its wealth. It’s situated between Belgium, France and Germany and basically really tiny with a population of about half a million people now.
So that already indicates one of the problems that I faced while growing up or realizing that I am a lesbian: how can you live openly gay without “everyone” knowing about it? Because living in a small country is not easy, and it might sound a bit impossible but somehow you always know someone who knows someone who…
So I grew up in one of the biggest towns in Luxembourg and went to high school in another city. Back then I did not know anyone who was openly gay and that made it hard for me to identify with anyone or find someone to talk to. I was 15 when I realized that I was gay but it took me a straight relationship (which was really nice) and some years to finally realize who I was and still am.
During my years at high school I never met anyone who had come out but I did hear of gay people but mainly when people made fun of them. Also friends of mine talked about that “faggot” or that lesbian but they never made nice comments or so, so I felt even more insecure. I guess I had to “escape” the smallness of my town and also country, and go to university in the UK to finally come to terms with myself and live the life I wanted. It was also only after high school when I met my first girlfriend at the age of 21. I also came out then and most of the reactions I got were positive. But I still felt like the only lesbian in my circle of friends.
Now I’m 26 and with a new girlfriend (who is German by the way) and have realized in recent years that there are in fact tons of gay people in Luxembourg but I dare to say that quite a number of them live closeted or just come out to a number of people because somehow there is still a kind of fear that everyone will know about you and that it might harm your reputation.
So I guess that my advice for people from small nations or countries is to get out of the place they live in to see what is going on elsewhere, and not to hide in their small places. It really helped me to get out and come out to become the person I am now.