WHY ARE YOU AFRAID TO RETURN TO BULGARIA?
I’m Bulgarian and I haven’t lived in my country since 2010. I was always threatened by the news of what was happening in my own country. It provoked fear hearing the news of discrimination and homophobic fights or gay deaths. It’s not a humane way to live or to treat the LGBTQ+ community.
WHAT DID YOU DO TO ESCAPE THE CIRCUMSTANCES?
At the time I was fourteen years old I moved out of Bulgaria with my brother to live in Istanbul, Turkey. It is a beautiful cosmopolitan city with allot of culture, but like my own country it was a scary place for LGBTQ+ guys like me.
DO YOU FEEL SAFE LIVING IN BULGARIA?
In Bulgaria people stare at me and threaten me, often with verbal insults directed at me for my androgynous look. I wish I could specify a certain event or place when I was discriminated for my looks or my views, but there were just too many instances. Bulgaria is dangerous and I had to hide my true identity. Due to the discriminations in Bulgaria and Turkey I had to travel and find a better place to feel accepted for who I am.
WHEN DID YOU MOVE TO AMERICA?
After 10th grade I turned seventeen and was older to travel and live further where I can feel more safe and accepted. In the summer of 2013 I moved to Winchester, Virginia where I lived with my uncle and his family.
WHATS YOUR LIFE DIRECTION?
When I turned 18 I became more independent and by 12th grade I decided I wanted to move to Los Angeles and pursue fashion and film degree. When I started with fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Design and merchandising in 2015 the school helped me understand the entertainment industry. During that time fashion was just part of what I wanted to do. I fell in love with film and the production side where you get to work with a team to create beautiful movies, events, or anything creative entertainment wise. In 2016 when I turned twenty years old I enrolled in the Los Angeles Film School pursuing a bachelor of science in Film Production.
DID YOUR STUDIES HELP YOU?
My film school studies and the LGBTQ+ community were super beneficial in understanding myself and my future. I started co-producing events and collaborating with many companies on social media and live events.
WHAT DID YOU DO WHEN THE COVID-19 VIRUS HIT AMERICA?
I had a job offer and many opportunities in 2020. Upon my graduation in March the COVID-19 virus put the world and the entertainment industry on hold, making it impossible for me to work.
HOW DID YOU SPEND YOUR QUARANTINE TIME?
During the quarantine I picked up on AR and XR experience development. This allowed me to start collaborating with different companies and celebrities in Los Angeles, helping them to elevate their brand. Currently I’m waiting for the entertainment industry to resume so we can all get safely back to work.