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One year older. No, one year more grown-up. This year is absolutely not easy for me, but it is a very important year. Right now I’m at a big crossroads, much more complicated than before, but also quite crucial.


I do change a lot from year to year. Dastan, who was 5 years ago, is completely unrecognizable. My values, worldviews, emotions, ideas about the future, dreams – all this is constantly evolving, but right now a real revolution is happening in my life. So many changes at a time!


There are nevertheless qualities that simply become an integral and almost constant part of me and my personality. These qualities as well as my diverse personal experiences were possible thanks to the people who were nearby: my family, ex partners, activists, and friends. Thank you for teaching me to be persistent, open-minded, purpose-driven. Thank you for giving me emotions and adventures. Thank you for teaching me how to learn from my failures. Thank you for supporting and guiding me. Thank you for being close, even if whole countries and even continents were between us. Thank you for helping me in word and deed when it was as hard for me as it is now.


There were several stages in my life that made me who I am: studying in the USA, where I finally accepted my sexuality and stopped being ashamed of it, my coming out and my activism, when I learned to empathize, help, take on responsibilities for others and be bold and  brave, my move to Europe when I learned to build my life virtually anew. And all this time I was accompanied by people who changed a lot in me and revealed also other perspectives and philosophies of life.


I am grateful and happy that so many different things happened in my life. Honestly, I had and still have a very difficult life with a burden of responsibility for my family, with dangers, with pain, with depression, with struggle and survival. However, I can say for sure that I have had an amazing life, full of adventures and unique experiences. My life is a real roller coaster.


I want this roller coaster to continue to amaze me with its every turn, to surprise me with its every unexpected fall and ascent, to enthrall me, to create a sharp, nagging chest pain, to make me ask this question again and again: “For the God’s sake, why I chose this crazy path?”


But the path itself is not that important. What is significant for me is that you, people sitting in front and behind of that wagon, accompanying me on my adventures, or waiting on the ground and watching my crazy life from a distance, or sitting maybe next to me to the right, constantly holding my hand, leaning peacefully on my shoulder on every slow climb, piercingly screaming with me at every furious descent, and then smiling at me sharing our intimate happiness, when everything scary and dangerous is already behind …


I’m sorry if knowingly or unknowingly I did something wrong to any of you. Your forgiveness, acceptance and understanding is a huge present for my birthday. Also, if we have not seen for awhile, I guess it is time to say hello again and to grab some wine (also on Skype).

P. S. We were supposed to be right now on our way to Mont Blanc and maybe to clink glasses for my birthday in a cozy chalet after a long hiking day, but we had to replan because of the coronavirus. It would be a great birthday gift if you support our campaign for the sake of LGBT+ visibility, led by our amazing team: Steffen, Hans Martin, Christian, Martin, and by new fascinating people joining us this year for Mont Blanc!

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