Arkivi i Lëvizjes LGBTI+ në Kosovë


April 4, 2024

April 26, 2023

Being a lesbian and finding a job in Kosovo, I thought it would be impossible. It has been difficult to always wear an extra mask. A mask that weighed so much that it suffocated me. But do you know what was worse? Working in a family business, and having to wear that mask both at work and at home, never having space to breathe freely.

In this job I’ve had since childhood, I haven’t had any violations, but for me, it was twice as difficult to live and work with the people I love the most, always hiding.

It’s not easy to hide yourself from your mother, and especially not from her at work. And she’s not just a mother to me, she’s the most special person in my life, and it’s not easy at all to keep that cursed mask on every time I saw her, and I saw her all the time, since I didn’t even have that “job” where she wasn’t there. I felt bad, it started to get worse every day.

I realized this wasn’t working, I had to do something, I had to start from here, but I still thought about what a girl who is uninformed about the outside world, who doesn’t even have the idea that people like me exist, would do, and the organizations that work and support us. What could a girl do who doesn’t even have the confidence to take the first step? But even though I didn’t have that confidence, I had to do something because I couldn’t go on like this. I told my sister about what I am, and she accepted it very well. I was very surprised, it seemed strange to me how easy it was to remove that mask in front of my sister.

After that, I started applying to other job positions. I started applying everywhere and they started inviting me to interviews. This whole job search process is very exciting. I started working for a company, and at first, because I was convinced that all Albanians are homophobic, I kept it secret. I started working and this change made a big difference for me because at least for part of the day, I wasn’t at home. I started getting closer to my colleagues, and I noticed that I enjoyed talking to them more and more each time. Especially with the manager, I noticed that as a person, he was very open-minded, and the company itself had a lot of culture.

Every day, I started expressing myself more and more, and my feelings and all that I feel. The comfort and ease offered to me in this work environment pushed me to be completely open and to show that I like girls. I couldn’t believe it at first, that I, a girl who never believed she could find a job because of her sexual orientation, today freely speaks about her feelings. The best part of all this is that even though some of my colleagues are religious, they never judged me and accepted me. I felt very privileged, and maybe this privilege was given to me because I work in the field of information technology, and in this field, as far as I’ve seen, there are many open-minded people, people who don’t judge you for who you are.

I remember a very beautiful moment I experienced at work and that I will never forget. It was Pride Week, and this time they decided to celebrate it at the office. The office was filled with decorations and colorful flags, all made by my colleagues, for me. The surprises for me that day didn’t end there. Besides the flags and decorations, they also made a cake, and I couldn’t hold back the tears of joy anymore, I even started crying. This is a moment where I felt blessed for this job and for these people.

The support I received from people at work has helped me a lot to remove that mask that has taken my spirit until late. This support has helped me so much that I gained the courage to tell you at home too.

My mother didn’t take it so well. But, I’ll never forget that day when my mother, regardless of her thoughts, accepted all my feelings. I’ll never forget how she hugged me in my bed, and I’ll never forget the flood of emotions I felt that day.

After all this experience, I am happy that I didn’t stop my ambitions because of people’s prejudices about my sexual orientation. And although I didn’t stop this ambition, I have seen that there are also places of work where we can express ourselves. I didn’t stop this ambition and I hope that none of you will either.