“I am Yusuf-Gregori L. T. I was born in the Soviet Union 42 years ago.  I was born in a military family, My father and my mother served in the army.  From the age of seven, I realized that I am gay.  If you ask how it was?  I will answer: What do you think yourself?  Born and lived in a country where there was a criminal article for homosexuality. It was difficult and sometimes very painful to live.”

 

A Conversation:

Fabian:  Do you do any art practices in corona times?

Yusuf: I was busy on the big stage but since corona, that has finished. I now have too much time to think about my life, which was depressing. So I need to take it step by step at this moment, accept, understand and go on. And now my vision for life has changed, I changed. Every morning I woke up with a bad mood. And in my bad mood I go to the kitchen and see people and bring my bad mood to them. Maybe for one month I had this. But now, I understand that life is beautiful. I don't know what happened with me. It was like one morning that I wake up with a bad mood, and I said: ‘okay, why do you have a bad mood? Why? You want to bring this bad mood to other people?’ So now if I have a bad mood sometimes, I go biking and cycle around for 45 kilometers. Because I always saw just one side of the coin. Just one side or the other side. But it has the part in between too. Now I've started a vision that my life is not just one side or the other side but I'm starting to turn this coin.

Fabian: And do you think that it also happened because of corona that you had to stop and think?

Yusuf: I think in corona times, I had too much time to worry. Too much time . My brain made me go crazy. And then corona times gave me power and hope.

Fabian: Power and hope?

Yusuf: Now it’s good. I am happy. And when corona is finished, I want to continue with my life. I will continue my project. Also, I want to meet with theater groups because I want to continue with theater. And I want to start playing the piano again. I played piano when I was 14 years old. I taught myself piano. Then I had a bad experience in Ukraine and with the government. And I stopped playing the piano. Last time I played was when I had a performance with the theater group. We went to the theaters and I saw a piano and played a little bit. I want to continue playing every day, because it's good for me, good for my mind. What I look for in my life is balance. There must always be crying or smiling, lachen. Because sometimes you have bad things, and sometimes good things. And it has a balance because the coin is one side or the other side. But we have the middle and there is balance in your life. If you read what’s on the side of the coin it's like perfect. It's just the perfect moment.

Fabian: So you're looking for the balance between extremes?

Yusuf: I guess it balances out. So when you accept yourself for who you are and understand what you want, it's also balance. Because sometimes there is a black side to yourself, like a white and black side. But in the middle, we have a grey side.

Fabian: That's beautiful, the whole spectrum.

Yusuf: Yes. Completely the whole life of all what's happening around. Because sometimes I have something bad in my life. But then you have something good. Just find the balance. I had stress in all my life. And when I came to the Netherlands my stress level is up. I don't have that balance. If you start relationships for example, they will be stupid relationships. Because I make too much bad things and not enough good things. Too much wrong things. Because I don't have like this balance. I do not understand other people. But actually, I do not understand myself [laughs]. I wanted to have a divorce with myself. But now I'm starting to look from the other side and I say life is beautiful. Every morning you wake up in a bad mood, I take a glass of water. Why do you have a bad mood? It's just morning. Go have a shower and your mood will be better.