The gay one

The only child. Well, I have to go back in time to explain how it was for me to come out as gay. No big deal for me today, maybe unnecessary to go into, but this is often a topic when I’m talking to guys online. And it’s nothing I can explain shortly in a sentence, or two.

I was the only child. I knew I was gay at the age 6, but couldn’t put it to words until way past my 20’s. Growing up was awkward for me. I knew I couldn’t tell anyone, because I didn’t know what to tell. Swedish mom, Finnish dad. Alcoholic father. Not a violent one, but very manly man, describing women as objects to have sex with. More about him later (and he died 10 years ago).

Something happened 1983. HTLV3 (HIV) and AIDS. I was 13 at the time, and maybe trying to live out my urges as gay, but I don’t know. Anyway I was scared, and at TV they described men having sex with men, but not really explaining it other than they were to blame. So I sheltered myself for some years. At age 16 I was once again curious of my sexuality. Taking small steps.

Bam! Back in the closet. What happened was that my parents divorced. I was 18, still living at home. My dad got psychotic, threatened my mom. So she, and I, had to flee. For two days I lived at a woman’s shelter with my mom, but I had to leave. I found myself living by myself, but I had to go home and take my stuff. I had to confront my dad. He was the one confronting me, and I wasn’t ready or prepared. He threatened to kill me because he found out that I was gay. In his psychotic state of mind, I could only deny everything. We had the weirdest relationship after that. We didn’t trust each other, and I did everything to avoid him.

So I lived my life in the closet. Had no plans of coming out to anyone, not even to myself. In secret dreaming of men. My energy I put into work. There this story could have ended.

In 1999 (aged 29) I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I was initial very ill, and had time to reconsider my life and my choices. At the same time I got online and I started my blog. Through that I got in touch with new friends, gay friends. Suddenly I found myself quitting my job and moving relatively far away. As gay. I was 30 years old, and had a new world to discover. I never came out official to my dad, but I think he understood my reasons even though we never talked about it. The silent agreement; don’t tell. Mom knew. My friends knew. Some of my coworkers knew. The Internet knew.

Here I am. Openly gay to the world. It took 30 years.