I’m From Gothenburg, Sweden.

by Patrik Eickhoff

Google Earth Satellite Image of Sweden
I’m From Gothenburg, Sweden.

A shivering February morning, not a cloud on the azure ceiling above me. It was one of those bright freezing days when the tiny patches of snow are almost gone but the sun is too weak to warm the air properly. Everything was absolutely silent as I walked down to the bus stop, but not in my head. Up there was a war fought between my fiercely clashing thoughts. It made me nervous. What I didn’t know was that in just a short matter of time I would have come out. People would know the truth, they would know a guy who liked other guys.

When I finally got on the bus I tried to bring peace to my mental battle. I wanted to be honest with people, enough with the lies and pretending! I’m gay so what?! And I had read about those other guys who had come out. They had gathered the courage and done it receiving great acceptance. Why wouldn’t I be able to do that? It was encouraging. But how? How the hell do you tell someone you’re “homosexual”? Just the word is frightening. What if they hate it, what if you become “the gay guy”? There were major crises in my head so I looked out the window in an attempt to calm down, but the cars rushing by on the highway didn’t seem to care. There I was, closeted and insecure, not knowing anyone with these same sex preferences. The bus shot away in a bumpy manner and rattled my mind once more. Last week I had actually thought about doing it on my birthday. Maybe that was a good idea after all. And nothing will happen if I don’t set my mind to it, right? I gave it another thought and when I reached the high school entrance with the blazing sun upon my face I actually had a plan.

But like everything else with this coming out, fate had a way of ignoring my excellent plans. We were having coffee that same dazzling winter day when I got the terrifying impulse. I couldn’t keep it any longer. Why sit here nervously for weeks, let’s just have it done! And it all happened so quickly. I awaited a silent moment and I seized the opportunity, once and for all: “Hey guys, I’ve got something to tell you ’cause I wanna be honest with you…” And out of nowhere one of my friends thought he should make a joke and burst out: “Ooh he’s gay!” Everything went blank, for some eternally long seconds I couldn’t grasp anything, I heard some nervous laughs in the distance as my other friends realised that his witty statement could actually be the truth. But I finally got to my senses and with a terrified voice I let out some mumbling sounds: “Uhm… well that’s it… actually, hope you don’t mind.” Silence… I felt entirely exposed, stripped naked with a glowing GAY sign in my face, there was nowhere to go… but then the tension dropped! One of my best friends stood up, darted round the table and she gave me a warm hug. That moment will always be with me. The grim dreadful closet I had carried for so long was destroyed, extinct, crushed into the tiniest of pieces. I just sat there with a coffee like everyone else. Gay simply, there was nothing more to it. And everyone supported me. Not a single word of disapproval.

That day was a huge turning point for me. For once I felt confident, for once I could be myself. And that is the greatest feeling I have ever known. It was worth every fight getting there.

So stay true to yourself and fight for your dreams!

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