Christian, a queer creative, on how he nurtures the child in him and connects with others through his poetry and art.

von Guillermo Seis

What does it mean to be queer in a world that often denies our existence? How do we heal from the wounds of shame and rejection? How do we celebrate our sexuality as a gift, not a curse? These are some of the questions that Christian, a creative copywriter from Vienna, explores in our latest editorial. Drawing from his personal journey of self-discovery and self-expression, Christian invites us to rethink our assumptions and prejudices about sexuality, and to embrace the diversity and beauty of human nature. 


Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Christian and I live in the city of Vienna, where I work as a creative copywriter. I come from a simple family in the countryside of Austria. I left home when I was young, not because it was a horrible place, but because it just wasn’t the right place for me. I was looking for a place where I could express myself freely, through poetry, dancing, or painting. Now, as I approach my thirties, I feel like I am nurturing the child in me, who had been forgotten and oppressed by my environment. I am giving him what he had always desired: a chance to be free, to have fun, to wonder, and to heal.


What does sexuality mean to you, and how has your understanding of it evolved over time?
Sexuality is at the core of my writing, it affects the way I see myself and the world around me. It shapes how I act and react, how I flow and adapt, to every circumstance. Sexuality is in everything - but for me, sexuality isn’t always about sex. It can be hidden and quiet, or loud and proud. It can be repressed and twisted, or expressed and liberated. It can be a source of pain, or a source of joy. I learned to embrace it, to celebrate it, to share it. That changed everything.


How do you express your sexual desires and preferences, and what factors influence them (e.g., gender, attraction, kink, trauma, etc.)?
As queer people, we often carry a heavy burden of shame, sometimes planted in us since we were kids. This can make it hard for us to voice what we want and need from others. For a long time, I thought the only way to deal with this was to seek out faceless hookups - because who cares what a stranger thinks of you, right? It's easier than risking rejection from someone you love. And besides, when you grow up in a rural area, that's pretty much the only option you have. I know I wasn't alone in this. Many queer people, especially gay men, have lived this way. But as I got older, I realized that this wasn't what I was looking for (for me). Sex isn't about walking away with a load in your ass. Sex is about connection, trust, being seen and seeing someone else.


How do you navigate the intersectionality of your sexual identity with other aspects of your identity, such as race, class, ability, or religion? 
As a white, middle-class gay man who walked away from church at 18, I don't think I have much to contribute to this conversation. There are others who face more challenges because of their intersecting identities. But I do try to be mindful of how intersectionality impacts other people or my possible partners.


What challenges have you faced in expressing your sexual desires and needs, and how have you overcome them?
Communication is the key, as simple and obvious as it sounds. It's about finding people who get you, who share your experiences. I know it's hard to open up sometimes, but the more I did it, the easier it got. And sometimes, it helps to wonder: what's the worst that could happen? Usually, it's not that bad. When it comes to the times I did open up, I've never had  someone react badly, to be honest. It's one of those things that you worry about more than you need to. Just go for it and be patient with yourself. As queer people, we have to unlearn shame. And that takes time.


How do you envision a more inclusive and fulfilling sexual culture that embraces diverse sexual identities and expressions, and how can we work towards it?
We all have a role to play in this, by initiating conversations without shame and acknowledging that we share a common fear: being judged. It reminds me of one of the kindest things anyone ever said to me, a friend who told me: "I feel like I can tell you anything, and you won't judge me", and I wish we could all have that feeling all the time.


Pascal Schrattenecker