A right-wing blogger’s reflections on gay rights activist Milán Rózsa

An entire world separated the two of us. We didn’t agree on pretty much anything. We came from different places and we were each headed in a different direction. Still, I am terribly sorry that he’s gone, and at such a young age. Our paths crossed only once. In March, he came up to me after a debate among bloggers, entitled “Blogalization.’ He seemed a little nervous and tense.

“Maybe you’ve heard about me, I’m Milán Rózsa,” he said.

I also felt awkwardly tense, and I was going to tell him how I had, indeed, heard of him, but nothing good. I was also thinking that up until now, this had been a pretty good night. Yet now this little liberal kid shows up and he’s going to start calling me a Nazi. That’s the last thing I need.

Milán Rózsa (1988-2014)

Milán Rózsa (1988-2014)

Then it turned out that this wasn’t why he came over to me. He was anxious about meeting me, he almost turned back. After all, one of the organizers of the event was the right-wing JobbEgyenes blog. Wouldn’t he be despised? But he was positively disappointed, he said it was pretty cool, that we organized this event and noted that we need more meaningful and intelligent dialogue.

We sat down for a beer and had a good, fulsome argument. Of course, we did not agree on anything. But at least I met a truly open-minded, smart, intelligent young man who did not want to label me, nor did he try to be condescending. He genuinely wanted to understand. This was my big positive surprise of the evening. As we parted ways, we noted that if only we could argue and debate as we did tonight, Hungary would actually be a very tolerable country.

I found out just now, how much internal struggle and turmoil accompanied his life. And so, despite the anxieties and having to fight his own demons, Milán undertook a public battle, based on his beliefs. I never shared his views and continue to reject these beliefs even today. But standing up and holding his ground, even when he was weighed down by depression, was truly heroic.

Lajos Kossuth fought for years in the Diet with Aurél Dessewfy, the leader of the new conservatives, who did not agree with him on anything and who was his opponent in the election. When he passed away tragically at a young age, Kossuth wrote one of the most beautiful farewells in Hungarian press history.

Perhaps this is what we should somehow learn from our great ancestors. Because the true fighter respects the true fighter on the other side of the divide. Milán Rózsa was, in all certainty, a true warrior. He had more courage and honesty than many of the people who have made a living “fighting for democracy” for the past decades. He really fought, was truly possessed by a strong faith, sometimes to the point of being reckless. And I don’t think that he was right.

But it is fitting that for a moment we take off our hats and pay tribute to his memory. I would have happily struggled and argued with him for many decades to come.

Gábor Balogh

Translated from Hungarian by Christopher Adam


Gábor Balogh is a prominent Hungarian right-wing blogger, affiliated with the site Jobbegyenes.

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