“A Lesbian: An Interview with Jana Stepanova”

By Tanya Renne

“I think I realized I was a lesbian three years ago when I started to date my girlfriend. I always had the feeling that in the society in which I found myself there wasn’t anything for me. I felt very strange there, that I was different- somehow I am different. I didn’t know how or what it was. I felt uncomfortable around people because I needed something else; I didn’t know what. I saw that they were different and that I wanted different things from them, things they weren’t able to give me. When I was in high school, I found there a friend, and had a very wonderful beautiful relationship. For all those four years I was there we had everything but the sexual act.. I didn’t think of myself as lesbian, because the word lesbian was very dirty.. Being Czech I had two choices- I could figure out that I live women- that I prefer women and I prefer women’s feelings and behavior- just women, and still be ‘normal.’ I could think for the rest of my life that I’d get married to have a baby and so on. And the other choice is to really feel and act like a lesbian. This is what I do because I think that this tendency for a different orientation might be genetic or something unchangeable, but the way of life everybody has to deal with it- everybody has to decide for themselves. If I had known some model of lesbianism when I was young, maybe I wouldn’t have been afraid to touch that friend of mine.. First people have to feel comfortable with what they are doing; then the power just comes. It is very easy for me to take on a lesbian lifestyle. So it was easy to show it to others. I felt very comfortable in society.” (91-92)

Ana’s Land: Sisterhood in Eastern Europe. Edited by Tanya Renne. Westview Press 1997

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