That Gay Guy is a blog series that looks at the lives of gay men from all over the world. This time, I interview Salomen who lives in Zurich, Switzerland. He tells me all about their lesbian city President and his experience of gay pride parades in Zurich. So, let’s get started…
You grew up in Ticino in southern Switzerland. What was your experience growing up as a gay kid here?
I was born in a very small village -300 people living there – (kind of everybody knows everything of everybody ;-). So at my time I even didn’t know (there) that one could be gay. If they talked about “such persons”, it was in a bad way.
So it was a long way for me to find my sexual identity… only when I left the village, and a long time after it, I discovered who I was (sexual orientation). Somehow one always gets where he has to go… so it was for me. Nowadays things have changed, and in my village even a couple of young gays live together and, it seems, they are accepted.
What do you think is the general attitude towards gay people in Zurich and Switzerland?
Zurich, of course, being a “big” city, is very open towards gay people. Our city president is a lesbian and so far gay issues are taken seriously. I have the impression, that all gay and lesbians move ito Zurich ?? maybe because of this.
So, I would say, that gays are well accepted here. All depends about how one lives his life being gay. I’m a normal guy and gay… Being gay, means for me to love somebody of the same sex, but I’m not into parties or whatever…
You now live in Zurich. The city is not exactly known as a major gay destination, so what can gay travellers expect from the gay scene there?
Zurich is a fantastic small big city, where you’ll find everything you’re looking for… just in a small variation of course. What can you expect: incredible landscape, the lake, expensive restaurants ;), street parades (for all those who like techno scene), the possibility to reach the major Swiss city within one hour. Just come and visit it for a few days. You will love it 🙂
gay zurich switzerlandSwitzerland has a strong history of supporting gay rights. Why do you think they haven’t legalised gay marriage yet?
Swiss people are a bit slow and we still have conservative people in the regime. So, it will take some more time, but as soon as the new generation comes (let’s say the one, who are now 25 – 30) to the government, all will change. And do we really need to marry traditionally only to legalise and for the law, and finally for the money… I would much prefer a fantastic ritual outside all legal matters 🙂 If you know what I mean!
Have you taken part in any Gay Pride events in Zurich/Switzerland? If so, what was your experience?
I certainly did a few years ago. I hardly can identify myself in those events, that look like Carnival or like all gays would be in an eternal party and having sex all the time with everybody. As I said, I feel like being part of everything…
If you could give one piece advice to a gay traveller visiting Zurich, what would it be?
Besides some touristic things to visit, I would give the advice to be adventurous and discover all areas outside the old city. There you will find the real Zurich, some nice coffees and nice people 🙂 There is a wonderful sauna (not gay ?? at the lake. There I would go. Enjoy the sauna ritual and jump into the lake.
Gay or otherwise, what is your favourite thing about living in Zurich?
As I already mentioned, Zurich is still a small human city, but in the last 10 years it has become a world city (kind of a metropolis). Here you’ll find a lot of nice things without having to travel hours to come to a destination… The lake, of course, and the possibility to go into the nature in a very short time.
You have also travelled extensively yourself. Which has been your favourite destination for gay travel and why?
I’m not travelling gay… travelling, because I love to get to know to new people and cultures. I love Morocco… its people, the desert and the landscape… breath taking. And I love northern Europe, especially Finland and Sweden (Helsinki, Götheborg and Stockholm)… I feel so good there. People are friendly, very, very open toward any difference (diversity)… If I could I would live and work in Sweden (Stockholm) just because I love it so much.
And finally, could you sum up Gay Zurich in three words?
Gay Zurich: Come and discover!
by That Gay Backpacker
Source – That Gay Backpacker