A person marching in Hungary’s first-ever Trans Pride. (Prizma Transgender Community)
The first Trans Pride in Hungary saw hundreds of trans people march through Budapest demanding that the government allow them to change their names and legal genders.
Organisers said that the event was held to protest the Hungarian state withholding – since 2018 – its evaluations of people’s applications to have their gender or name changed, which effectively has meant that trans people in Hungary have had to exist with the incorrect name or gender for more than 18 months.
The practice of allowing trans people to change their legal gender and name is a “fundamental human right”, organisers of Trans Pride in Hungary said in a statement, and the government has given “contradictory excuses” as reasons.
Ivett Ördög, one of the speakers at Trans Pride in Budapest, said that despite living as a woman for “a long time”, she still has a male ID card that is not only unsuitable for identification but can put her at risk of harm.
“One time I was at the post office and the police were called on me because the post office clerk thought I was a fraud. Another time I gave up on playing billiards because in order to play, my ID card should have been submitted to the bartender who looked like an extremist, intolerant person,” Ördög said.
Another trans woman, Emma Molnár, who submitted her legal gender and name change request before the Hungarian government stopped assessing these requests, said that her real life started after she made these changes.
“My real life started after my 18th birthday when I finally received my official documents which were fit to my gender. That made it possible to study, travel or to work without any trouble, like any other citizen in this country. Until that, I had to hide from the public as a private student because of the harassment. An experience no one should live through,” she said.
Hungary recently pulled out of next year’s Eurovision Song Contest, allegedly branding the annual event as a “homosexual flotilla” and “too gay”.
While no official statement has been released from leaders, rising anti-gay rhetoric in Hungary is the alleged reason the country is withdrawing.
The organisers of Budapest’s Trans Pride, which took place on November 23, said in a statement that the government and people working for it “talk about LGBTQIA people like they were dog feces and compare them to pedophiles”.
The march was for their rights, they said, with their most pressing demand being for the ability to update their documents to reflect their gender.