Today in Pride stories: Maybe my story doesn’t take place in Istanbul, maybe I didn’t walk with thousands of people, maybe I wasn’t soaked by water cannons but that day a big void inside me was filled.
içimizdenbiri’s Pride story 
May 21, 2016/ Lefkoşa  March Against Homophobia
Note: Maybe it wasn’t Pride, but it was for me.
A child, who never thought they could and who never did join Pride, whose self acceptance process started only a few years ago, who is only trying to let themselves go to be happy. This child has only lived inside themselves and raised their voice only for others. But that day something was different, that day this child walked for themselves. You know why? Because love…
Maybe my story does not take place in Istanbul or any other big city in the world, maybe I didn’t walk with thousands of people, maybe I was not soaked by water cannons, I wasn’t exposed to homophobic stares, maybe I wasn’t shot that day, but a big void inside me was filled. The hope that years took away from me piece by piece was standing in front of me as a whole and all it needed was a little courage.
When we got to the starting point of the march, there was a little group and we did not draw too much attention. But minutes later, people started gathering, people who brought their children with them, people who drew rainbows on their faces and eyes. As the crowd got bigger, I couldn’t stop the enthusiasm rising inside me. I grabbed a flag, looked at the crowd and the first thing I felt was happiness. I wasn’t the “other” anymore, I did not feel different. I was there, everyone was seeing me and I was smiling like there is no tomorrow; we were infinite. The march started and people started joining the crowd along the way. Old aunts and uncles applauding from their balconies. Slogans, whistles, laughters, I didn’t want any of that to end. But everything ends and so did this, but this end was the beginning of many things.
If I learned anything these past few months of my life, you become someone when you let your guard down, a person. And your whole life stands in front of you and looks at you. Your feelings are free, your thoughts are not restricted. That is when love comes- or not but that’s what you think- it enters your life when you least expect it. The feelings whose existence you did not accept for years stand in front of you like a mountain. No one knows, and many don’t believe it but there you know it and the rest is not important. What you hold on to is not that love or what you feel for that person, it is just that hope. Then the desire to get up and do something is born inside you and your march towards the sun starts.
As Sezen Aksu  says “If I didn’t die of love, if I wasn’t born into love, would I devote myself to fairy tales?”
Stories multiply as they are shared. If you would like to tell your Pride story as well, send your writing of maximum 500 words to email@example.com, we will publish it on both Kaos GL and LGBTI News Turkey both in Turkish and English. Do not forget to include your name or nickname.
 İçimizden biri means one of us in Turkish.
 Lefkoşa is the Turkish name for Nicosia, a city in Northern Cyprus.
 Sezen Aksu is an iconic Turkish singer/song-writer.