Opening Remarks at a Screening of Hot Men, Cold Dictatorships

Jó estét kívánok!  Good evening everyone!

I am pleased to join you tonight and to introduce the film you are about to see — Hot Men, Cold Dictatorshipswhich we are screening in honor of LGBT History Month.  I congratulate the Háttér Society and their partners for organizing such a varied and interesting series of events to commemorate this month.

The U.S. Embassy is privileged to be able to participate.  I also thank Prezi and the House of Ideas for hosting us this evening!

It is also my great pleasure to be joined by U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Ambassador Daniel Baer, who — in both his professional and personal capacities — advocates for civil rights, liberty, and equality for all people.

I would also like to recognize the dedication of the director of the film, Mária Takács, for telling the history and personal stories of the LGBT community in Hungary.  Knowledge of the past – the struggles and triumphs of those who came before us – serves as the first — and strongest – block in the foundation on which we build our future.

Tonight’s documentary tells personal stories of gay men living in communist Hungary. It preserves their experiences for future generations and it offers us the chance to consider what has changed – and maybe what hasn’t.  It is particularly interesting to hear the younger generation in the film reflect on what they learn and compare it to their own journeys.

As many of you may know, while Hungary observes LGBT History Month each February, the United States celebrates Black History Month.  These commemorations offer time for reflection on the history of marginalized groups in our countries – including the difficult parts of our past — and for consideration of progress we’ve already made — and progress we are making together, day by day — toward free and open societies, in which everyone has equal protection of their inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I hope you enjoy tonight’s screening of Hot Men, Cold Dictatorships.