Matlida Fruzsina, Lujza, and Joy

Two women in colorful dresses stand on the front porch of a home. One (left) has strait purple hair and the other (right) has curly hair. A young girl in a floral dress dances on the sidewalk in front of them.

Lujza: “When Joy and I first met on the internet in 2003, she was living here in Lexington and I was in my hometown of Budapest, Hungary. Although there was an almost instant spark of both friendship and attraction between us, little did we know that the next 17 years would take us on a seemingly never-ending struggle with our status as a lesbian couple and my status as an immigrant, trying to navigate the legal landscape of the U.S.

A decade later, when our marriage was finally recognized by the federal government and I received my permanent residency, we wept with relief and wondered if we could ever have the family we longed for so desperately. Our dream of being parents came true with the birth of Matilda Fruzsina in 2017, the best thing that ever happened to us. At 3 years old, she makes all the past hardships seem worth enduring.

However, our joy has been tempered by the current administration’s hostility toward both the LGBTQ and immigrant communities. Even if we are not personally affected by these acts, we are members of both communities that have been hurt by them. For this reason, the Supreme Court’s decisions this week to uphold LGBTQ civil rights and DACA immigrant rights feel like a validation of our family’s existence.”

Audio Transcript

My name is Lujza Nehrebeczky and I have lived in Lexington for 16 years.

My wife Joy and I would like to live in the America I believed in as a child growing up in Hungary. My great-aunt and her family came to Chicago as refugees from World War II and taught me that America welcomed people from totalitarian regimes. I came to this country on my own as a student, with hope that it would welcome me as well. Even though I have since learned how complicated America’s history is, I have found a home and a family here. It remains my hope that this country will remain a home for me and my Hungarian American family, just as it was for my great-aunt and hers.

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