Live However You Think Is Right – Anastasia Pirveli

ვახო ქარელი / აპრილი

“I was born twice in this world – twice I fell in love with people, twice I had the same friends, twice I had parents. I lived one life, I spent it with my beloved people, I planted love, kindness, singing, dancing in them. The day of rebirth or judgment came, and the lack of information overcame everything — many closed their eyes, moved me to another dimension, imagined that I might be an alien, they just didn’t want to understand,” says musician and activist Anastasia Pirveli.

"The second birth is like purification, your wish coming true - you become the ruler of your will, nature, you obey your laws, you become absolutely free, but you have to fight for it. Accordingly, my experience, pain, joy, emotions give me freedom, courage, give me the opportunity and patience to stand by others, to contribute to changing the world for the better".

Vakho Kareli / Aprili

The public got to know Anastasia through her singing. It was through music that she decided to bring a message to people who needed empowerment, and to tell the public that it is important to see talent beyond identity. She says the public response has been largely positive, showing that people can see the truth.

“Each comment, each personal message was a great happiness. The society is not so harsh, so strict. If you are open-minded and believe in your own truth, you can build bridges. This happened in my case, and it made me even more determined to share my message with people – we should love each other, follow the path of development and contribute to changing the environment for the better.”

Music was her companion from an early age. She tells us that her sisters are musicians and through them she was exposed to classical music. She remembers that at a young age, she played Bach and Mozart by ear, then she didn’t even know the notes – from then on, music conveyed all of her emotions.

“I often say that I have megabytes, a large part of which was filled by music, it became the main part of my memory, it is a companion of my life. I am very, very happy that I discovered this talent in myself. It is therapy, happiness, mourning, it holds all emotions. My white grand piano is not just a musical instrument, it is with me all the time, it is an irreplaceable friend, and music accompanies me through my life.”

Vakho Kareli / Aprili

She always had the support of her family – she says that this is what enabled her to raise her voice to protect her own and other people’s rights. It gave her self-confidence and helped her understand that she is not doing anything wrong and that she is right in what she says.

"Parents' awareness, of course, gradually grew with me. However, I always had their support, and I knew for sure that I was making the right decisions. My father always told me to live however I thought was right. I like these words, because in my case it was fully justified, it gave me strength and courage", Anastasia tells us, and she also says that access to education and information helped to increase self-confidence.

She is a lawyer by profession and knew how to protect hers rights. As he tells us, she always had and still has a sense of protest, a desire to react to injustice, as this is in her nature.

She remembers that when society considered her different, there was no electricity in the country, people were largely uninformed, and even such a small detail as dying your hair or using lipstick was considered an activist move.

“For as long as I can remember, I have been a free person and my decisions were discussed by many people around me, they just couldn’t understand. But when I got out of my comfort zone and saw what was happening outside, I realized that I had no right, so to speak, not to come out, not to raise my voice about the challenges that our community is facing. Many years have passed and today, when I hear the same shouts and comments again, I think about what should we do, how should we find a bridge so that they understand that we have no right to other people’s lives,” says Anastasia.

As she notes, her constant readiness for any situation helped her overcome various experiences — “I always did what I was informed about. I don’t even take a single step if I know that I don’t have enough arguments.”

“It is inevitable that time will transform the world. As snow melts and spring comes, the situation will change — the snow will melt and beautiful flowers will bloom.”

Vakho Kareli / Aprili

According to Anastasia, although here and there are the same cries as there were years ago, the changes are extremely great, and the acceptance is much increased.

“We cannot measure the attitudes in Georgia by hired homophobes. For example, advances in the arts, diversity, have shown people that our talent is not defined by identity. The real propaganda is the oppression of a person, the spread of hate speech, and not talking about their orientation. That’s what I oppose, that’s why I’m active and will be in the future – I will always stand up to hatred.”

The transformation of the world is inevitable, it is unstoppable, it is a force of nature – Anastasia tells us, adding that despite these inevitable changes, we should not forget that this is the result of hard work and efforts.

“Whoever adjusts their feet to the changing world in time, will understand it in time, and develop with it, will find the golden mean. But this change was achieved at the cost of people’s work, lives, and tears. The truth and hard work of so many people has been invested, that it is simply inevitable, you cannot prevent it”.

Changes are happening, but the current environment still makes everyday life difficult for many queer people. Anastasia says that we will never have time to list people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, who bring good to the country, create something new with their own talent, work selflessly.

“It’s hard for me to talk about my loved ones who had to be expelled from their country only because they had colored hair. Many talented people are leaving and what does that mean?! Our country lacks resources that people could use for the good of their country.”

Anastasia, first of all, encourages parents to support their children, because according to her, this is important for them, for their own lives.

“The parent-child relationship is a chain that has two sides, and when that chain is broken, neither side wins. If the child does not live up to the expectations that the parent has from them, you cannot impose a harsh punishment, you must follow them, support them on the path of development and do not allow them to break the chain. I will urge my children to do the same. Let’s not talk about gender, in general, the relationship between parents and children should be like this – the chain should not be broken. A lost child, rejected by their parents, is going through a difficult path, you have to offer them happiness. It’s difficult when I receive personal messages from parents or teenagers who ask for help, to share experiences, ask to be saved”.

Vakho Kareli / Aprili

She does not consider the activity of her friends and surroundings less important. She says that we should bring our message to people, talk about the challenges and try to transform the environment in which we live.

“It is necessary to raise one’s voice for the life and well-being of others. Maybe it will not mean going to the streets, protesting, but you just have to make it clear that at least you’re free, you’re supportive. People employed in various fields, such as education or art, also have the responsibility to support equality, the right to speech and expression. Different spaces – musical, entertainment or others are created and developed by the unity of different people. We should love ourselves, our children, the people around us more. This will bring us happiness, and as many other myths have been shattered, this too will shatter, that we grow horns at dusk.”

She herself follows this principle of caring for others. Currently, she is learning sign language, trying to help people overcome communication barriers, at least, to help lessen their daily challenges and to live equally. She has diverse interests and has many plans, including a musical career.

“My future plans are connected to Georgia. I thought about simplifying things relatively, but I can’t allow myself to go anywhere. I see myself here, in my country, with my people. I think we have a perspective of development, love, understanding,” Anastasia tells us.

At the end of the conversation, she mentions that the main thing for her is to make at least a small contribution to changing the world for the better.

“If I even contribute 0.01% to making the world a better place, let life go as it should.”