Daniel “Danko” Bunda is a 21-year-old Slovak Roma who currently works for the non-profit organization DigiQ and educates young people in schools, teaches them about social networks, what is cyberbullying, about hate on the Internet and gaming. Among other things, he acts as a moderator of a session in which they talk about stories of young Roma.
As a child, Danko didn't think about gay people or the Roma identity, but he preffered to have fun, he liked to be the centre of attention, he performed in front of parents and friends - he was just an extroverted child who loved fun. His grandmother told him that a boy at the age of six said he wanted a wife. Danko immediately thought that he didn't want to, but he said to himself that he was probably a phlegmatic after his father and didn't deal with it.
Danko later began to pay attention to the boys and began to pay more attention to his surroundings, where he also realized that society perceived him as a Roma, but that he liked the boys he was dealing with only in his thoughts. Rather, he wondered why they asked him in the store what he had in his bag or why people at school didn't take him as a part of the collective. For these reasons, there was almost no room for him to deal with his sexuality, but rather how to "survive" in the major society.
Translation of the text in the bubble: “Our world is like one big house for everyone.”
When Danko was 11-12 years old, he was tired of how he constantly had to pretend to be from Spain or Italy, and especially tired about the fact that the major society did not respect him for who he truly is. Danko got angry and closed himself in his bubble, where he spent 3 years programming, playing computer games and learning new languages (English, Czech, Japanese). Then he got into an international high school in Slovakia, where there was so much diversity that he began to feel that he fits somewhere. Before he had his official coming out as gay, Danko said, "I had my first coming out as a Roma."
They had a Rainbow Club at school, where LGBTQ+ issues were addressed. It was a session with a school psychologist who was dealing with various stages of coming outs, and at that moment Danko began to think that he was probably bisexual, that he would have a family, children and his mother, and everyone would be happy. The more he got in touch with the school LGBTQ+ community, the more he began to realize that this was a perfectly normal community of people and all the stereotypes around the LGBTQ+ group were completely different - for example: "You're gay, you have to be feminin or you are lesbian, you have to be masculine, etc.” One of the other discoveries for 17-year-old Danko was Grindr (dating app for gays, bi, trans and queer). This helped him realize that there are many more gays in Slovakia than he could ever have imagined.
A few months after Danko downloaded the app, he still thought he was bisexual. So Danko found a girl and had a heterosexual relationship with her. Unfortunately, the relationship didn't work, Danko knew he was fooling her. His now ex-girlfriend asked him if he happened to be gay, but he was offended - not because she found out, but because he believed he was bisexual. Danko was single again and went to a restaurant with his friends, and one of his friends asked him: "Did you notice the two girls who just came in?" Danko said yes. After that his friend asked him if he was gay or bi, and Danko replied that he was bi. That same evening, Danko and another friend went out for a beer, and the same question was asked, "Are you gay or bi?" In those few hours, his answer changed to, “I'm gay."
At the beginning of 2021, Danko began to discuss his sexuality with his family. His sister first came to him at his birthday party, knowing that he had been gay all along and that she was rather surprised that he have not tell her sooner, because she would never have taken him otherwise. Danko excused himself in front of his mother for not having time for girls, because he was having a lot of work and school stuff.
Two months ago, Danko's boyfriend came to Košice from Cyprus and took him to his mother for dinner. His mom didn't know anything, but Danko felt it was the right time. She greeted them both with a smile on her face, gave them coffee and something sweet. Danko decided to do his coming out in his own way and knew that if he would introduce to his mother someone who he wanted to stay with, his mother would accept both of them. He had never seen his mother so happy.