QUEERS OF HUNGARY 

This series is an extension of our original research into the lives and deaths of eastern European queer public figures. We restricted our research to Hungary. Figures we visited included El Kazovsky, a Russian born artist who worked in Budapest as transman. He was one of the most well-known artists of the late-twentieth century in Hungary despite this obvious conflict with the socio-political condition of the time. Another figure was Karl Maria Kertbeny, a journalist who coined the term ‘homosexual’ as part of his work as a gay rights activist.

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 Erzsébet Galgóczi 

  

Socially real and socially risky you found Another Way to promote your agenda. Tragic Éva didn’t find happiness but your love for Gobbi lasted forever. Your will was strong but you passed before the new day. 

Ménfőcsanaki temető, Gyor, Hungary, 2018

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 Cécile Tormay 

  

Arrogant and flirtatious. The literature you produced was nothing but hatred and ignorance but the Nobel people loved it. Your public politics didn’t stop you from seducing Hungary’s married aristocrat women. The scandalous trials that followed outed you but the Fascists still love you. 

Farkasréti cemetery, Budapest, Hungary, 2018

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 El Kazovsky 

  

Darkly colourful. You were created in Russia but came into a true life in Budapest. From punk to Pygmalion your art transected the system. Dogs are everywhere, yes dogs are everywhere. 

Farkasréti cemetery, Budapest, Hungary, 2018

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 Hilda Gobbi 

  

A resistor of the authoritarians. An actor against the norms. Revolutionary before it was legal, you were a lover of Hédi then of Erzsébet. The epitome of the artistic elderly; drinker, smoker, rebel. “I’m such a guy.” 

Farkasréti cemetery, Budapest, Hungary, 2018

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 Katalin Karády 

  

Your femme fatale persona made you a star, confusing the public: man-eater or lesbian? Helping the vulnerable in ww2 resulted in torture and prison. The Communists had no use for you but with the help of the Kennedy’s you settled in New York. A recluse to the end, they wanted you back but all they got was a hat.

Farkasréti cemetery, Budapest, Hungary, 2018

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 Zsuzsi Mary 

  

Country girl moves to the big city to take on the Táncdalfesztivál. Singing ‘Mama’, the Hungarian nation turns out it’s lights to make you a star. But it doesn’t last long, moving to Germany makes you fade. Returning home decades later they still remember you but it’s not enough and your internal pain ends on Christmas eve.

Kerepesi cemetery, Budapest, Hungary, 2018

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 György Faludy 

  

Your Happy Days in Hell caused you to flee home on multiple occasions for being the wrong ethnicity. Finally settling in Canada with your ballerina, Eric. Returning home you caused a stir, at 92, marrying a twenty something-year-old fellow poet called Fanny and banishing Eric to Kathmandu. Centrefold material to the end.

Kerepesi cemetery, Budapest, Hungary, 2018

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 Karl-Maria Kertbeny 

  

A memoirist and translator with friends in high places. The love of your departed friend inspired you to coin the term ‘homosexual’ and use it to try and change society for the better. You spent your life campaigning for gay rights, but it wasn’t enough to fully open your closet door. 

Kerepesi cemetery, Budapest, Hungary, 2018