THOSE BORN AND RAISED IN A BIG CITY SOMETIMES TEND TO FORGET LIFE IN SMALL VILLAGES IS ENTIRELY DIFFERENT. SPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO COMING OUT. YOU NEED TO HAVE A STRONG PERSONALITY AND WILL OF YOUR OWN IF YOU WANT TO SUCCEED IN MAKING A HAPPY LIFE FOR YOURSELF. TO BREAK FREE FROM CONSERVATIVE LIFE AND SOCIAL EXPECTATIONS, SPREAD YOUR WINGS AND FLY OUT. IT ALL HAPPENED TO HANNES. BUT WHEN HE FLEW, HE FLEW FAR.
Hannes Ortner was born and raised in a conservative catholic surrounding of a small village somewhere in the mountains of Austria. His weekly activities used to include early breakfasts, going to church, horseback riding, swimming in summer and snowboarding in winter. All together not too bad, but when you are 16 and have come to accept you are gay, you probably want more than that. Realizing that, even though reasonably open-minded- his fellow-villagers would not be ready to see him waling hand in hand with a lover – let alone kissing him - Hannes came to the conclusion it might be better to change his protected mountain life for the more exciting seductions of living in a big city and even an other country. And thus he made the logical choice to move… to China…
Eager to enrich himself with new cultural experiences, and a scholarship in his pocket, Hannes took of to China. You can imagine it must have been quite a culture shock to start a life there, but Hannes loved every second of it. He spent one year in China before moving to Japan for another few months and eventually Taiwan. But soon Hannes came to the conclusion that even though experiencing new cultures was an enriching experience, he could not express his sexuality as he wanted, and that need brought him back to Europe. London to be precise.
In London Hannes experienced gay life as now where else. He shared living accommodations with four friends – two Argentine and two Spanish – and the five of them explored every gay outlet the British capital had to offer. And when he eventually met the man of his life who introduced him to the party scene, Hannes had found gay paradise and couldn’t get enough. London became a too small playing ground end the two of them soon found party satisfaction all over the world. Amsterdam, Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, Brazil. You name it. Hannes was unstoppable.
I know what you are thinking. Is this story going to end good? I mean, from conservative mountain lad to international party boy… But Hannes is a smart guy and – even though he still likes to enjoy a good dance event every now and then – he safely smoothed his feathers and settled down in London with his boyfriend, where he works hard at his latest venture, his own on line business - linguistics-consulting.com – in which he successfully offers his great business analyst and language skills. –B-
Photography by Sandro & Maykson.