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SWEDEN

Male to Male relationships: Legal
Punishments for male to male relationships: No law
Female to Female Relationships: Legal
Age of consent: Equal for heterosexuals and homosexuals
Marriage and Substitutes for Marriage: Recognized on national level

Your Views

Are you LGBTI? We want to hear from you! Help us inform other users of the site with your views on this country. Below is a random question about this country. If it is relevant to you please answer it.

Have people in SWEDEN assumed your HIV/AIDS status because of your sexual orientation?

The majority of people visiting this site have said No

Yes, people think I have AIDS because I am gay (0 %) Yes, the government thinks sexual orientation and HIV or AIDS status is the same (0 %) Yes (0 %) No (100%)

The Your Stories section is all about you! Please take a minute to tell visitors of the ILGA website about what LGBTI life is like in reality. Please submit your personal story and share your experience!

YOUR STORIES
Post a new story to this section

Readers Experiences

This is what people are saying about life for LGBTI people in SWEDEN...
(user currently living in SWEDEN) posted for gay readers on 21/09/2010 +5
link
Dammit Sexuality

''Sexuality is powerful. Sometimes more powerful than personal or religious duty. We're willing to risk everything for the sake of it. Our lives, all that we have and all that we are.'' George, Elisabeth ''Deception On His Mind'' p. 727

I couldn't agree with you more Elisabeth, since I'm a living proof to this harsh reality. Dammit sexuality I'm stranded in the middle of nowhere at North Pole stripped off my identity, career, family, friends including my past and future. Dammit sexuality, my hands are tied up, my feet are chained, my mouth is gagged, my eyes are blind-folded, my soul is crushed and my brain is rusting and disillusioned. Damn it sexuality, I don't have no control over my destiny and life; I am still wandering from refugee camps to refugee camps and cramped up with four complete strangers from all corners of the globe -with whom I don't have nothing in common- in a tiny two-bed rooms flat. Dammit sexuality, I am still surviving on social security benefits while my straight colleagues/schoolmates/friends got married, have kids and working at various high level positions around the world and living at large. Damn you sexuality that I missed so many golden opportunities which I won't have them forever while waiting for a piece of paper that I will never get it. Dammit sexuality, for distorting my life beyond recognition and putting it on a roller coaster for the past five years. Damn it sexuality, for cutting off my contacts from families and friends make me lead a lonely and miserable life; if it wasn't for you I would have been on a first flight back home tomorrow in the morning. Damn you sexuality, if it wasn't for you; I wouldn't have been a victim of all these racial discrimination and stereotypes every single day at every corner of a freaking cold place on earth. Damn you sexuality, for tying me up with incurable disease, half a dozen pills, depression, long sleepless night, anxiety and make me feel hopeless & powerless. What else do you want from me, damn sexuality? I don't have anything left but my living dead skinny body with graying hair-take it if that's good enough for you.

I'm from Africa and I have been through a lot and I'm still suffering from issues related directly or indirectly to my sexuality. I still don't understand how I screwed-up my life like this, yeah the answer I guess is that I have a weak spot for bad guys which ruined everything and I found out that after it's too late. The worst thing is time is against me (am in my early 40s) chances are very slim to start life afresh, career, school or to have a life time partner. I came to Europe in 2004 for second time (the first one was in 1996) to do my masters degree, stayed behind and sought asylum after finishing the school hoping to have a break from a life long rejection, harassment, but above all from a life threatening extortionist even though some people warned me not to do so. Now I realized that it was the biggest and stupidest mistake I ever made in my life-too late and too little I can do to undo. This country where I am living now is one of the worst nightmares to be a gay especially for black men even if it is reputed to be one of the champions of human rights and most liberal and progressive countries in the globe towards LGBT persons. To make things worse I was in abusive relationship for the last couple of years. Misery loves company, I was diagnosed HIV positive in 2006 and a year later as if this was not enough my asylum case was rejected and requested to go back to my 'home country'. So, I went to another European country at the beginning of this year to try my chance but I was deported back to the country where I sought asylum-and here I am waiting and waiting to get protection but with no certainty.

Let me give some highlights about being gay in my 'home country'- well, it's no secret that homosexuality is illegal, punishable and attracts constant verbal/physical harassment from family members, neighbors, friends, co-workers, complete strangers, teachers, religious leaders in short from every sector of the society. If a guy looks feminine that makes it even worse-I remember tom girls were more tolerated and accepted than their counterparts. Most of these harassment happen out of hate and the society is constructed in patriarchal manner.
I was born in the capital city from a 'middle-class family' and was the second child of six siblings. I remember I was ridiculed, bullied and many times physically attacked by my parents, siblings, relatives, neighbors, teachers, any stranger from the street, for having a different look (which was/isn't my fault) other than 'normal' boys. I was called and even given derogatory nicknames by everybody that forced me to isolate and lock myself most of the time at home. I used to prefer deserted roads to go to school or some other places to avoid unprecedented attacks from complete strangers. Simply speaking, I was a loner, and an outcast, didn't have all the social skills to make friends until I was in my late 20s. I went to a college located in a very small town in the northern part of the country. It was very difficult to adapt to the way of life generally for teenage boy who had never been out of the big town and particularly for a gay guy. I got a nickname right away I landed at the college and my stay was not fun and adventurous as compared to other fellow students, most of the time I didn’t mingle with students to avoid rejection and unexpected harassment. I didn’t have the self-esteem or the courage to be who I am. You can imagine how stressful and difficult life can be at small college where everybody lives in everybody's pocket. During my last year at the college, I started a secret affair with this guy whom I guess was bisexual or experimental hetero-guy. The college was shut down when the gorilla group took control the environs of that town and we didn't have much to do except eating, sleeping and sneaking for casual sex once in a while. Things didn’t go well at the end; after we had sex this guy told his straight friends and conspired to rob all my pocket money that I had saved for the rainy season. I was devastated and crushed because of the stress I developed a gastritis so it was a good excuse for me to go back home to relieve myself from the daily humiliating ordeal after that incident. I went back home but my parents insisted me to go back and get my college diploma and warned me that I would be forcefully recruited by military junta if I didn’t. The price was not easy the news reached to everybody by the time I returned back to college, simply my last days were hell on earth, I had to limit my movements between lecture room and my dormitory and I used to skip some meal times often times to avoid bullying but I managed to graduate after 3months of tough journey. Then I went to a very remote part of the country as a teacher. My life got from bad to worse and there were moments I was contemplating to kill myself; if it wasn’t for my mother's sake I would have been history. I was humiliated, harassed and ridiculed not only by my colleagues but also my students and complete strangers. I had totally to transform myself so as to fit in the ‘’normal life’’ of small village. I started to grow beards and mustache, act talk and walk like a straight man but no matter how much I tried to be somebody that I was not it rarely served its purpose but along the way I made new 'friends'. I started living a double life and there's nothing worse than that kind of life. Eventually, some of my 'friends' suspected/found out about me so they trashed me and cut off their contact immediately. Others still wonder why I never dated or talked about women and even went further to hook me up with one. I don’t know why but somehow people who lived and worked around me including distant ones used their knowledge/assumption of my sexuality to attack me at any time they wanted. Due to this fact I usually stayed one or two months longer than I was supposed to be at the capital during winter break. I was able to pursue my education at the capital after 6years of my ordeal in that remote area. I vowed not to return to that place even though I made a deal to do so at the end of my study. I was jobless for almost for two years before I got a job at a media organization and served 4 horrible years where I was extorted, ridiculed, harassed and trashed. The worst was when I refused to have sex with this security guard at my employer office. Then he told his friends who live around my workplace to extort money from me, started bullying and calling me names in front of my colleagues. Sometimes I was even scared to walk to a nearby café or restaurant. Working for a media as a gay person in the first place was such a bad choice in a homophobic society. It is easier to be picked-up by anybody for whatever abuse, extortion or blackmail and the backfire is grave if one tries to react/act during such encounters. My life was in a roller coaster but luckily I got a scholarship in Europe and came here in 2004 and that same police man with his friends gang raped and robbed me in 2005 when I went back 'home' to do a research. I was shocked, ashamed and didn’t even dare to report the incident to the police since it is evident what the outcomes will be. Anyhow, I managed to get a new passport and came back to finish my studies. I vowed not to return and discussed the matter with fellow Africans but everybody is telling me that I won't be accepted as an asylum seeker since I was working the government and came here on scholarship. I started to get panic so I called the national LGBT organization and agreed to meet at the capital city at the end of the study. I told him that I would like to seek asylum and he told me I should come with evidence so that the immigration authorities to grant me a permission to stay. I told him I didn't and he advised me to hang around at the clubs to find a boyfriend who is willing to sign a paper. My panic started to get worse when a riot broke out in my country following a contested election, so I was so scared and was going every single night to the gay clubs in town to hook-up with somebody. One 'lucky' night I met this dude from neighboring African country-we immediately- clicked and told him about my problem after we dated for a while. He told me he has a wife and children in another town and advised me to seek asylum with made up story and identity so as be granted asylum status. I was so desperate I believed him, put all my documents including my passport with him and did as he told me-what I didn't know was he was another cone extortionist. Then, he started to show his true color (a drug addict, alcoholic, criminal) after I was sent to a refugee camp in the country side-he threatened to provide my passport unless I pay him cash. So, I went the capital city to fulfill his demand. Things got from bad to worse, I became his personal account and slave. He didn't budge even after I told him that all my money was finished, so I had to pick up empty drink bottles from the streets and sell them to meet his demands. To make the long story short, he made my life a nightmare when I told him that I was diagnosed HIV positive in 2006 his threatening got from bad to worse. I don't know what happened to him but he disappeared all of a sudden in 2007, and it was as if two tons of potato was lifted from my shoulder-life gets back to 'normal'. It is still beyond my imagination why I blew my promising future, career and continued to live the shitiest life (I was distributing newspapers, scrubbing toilets. Then, he showed up all of a sudden again in 2009 after disappearing for almost 2yrs and started to mess up my life-I just couldn't take it anymore so I went to another neighboring country to seek asylum. I felt for the first time free and my life started to show a semblance of normality with a bit of purpose (I was volunteering at refugee camp's kindergarten and another local volunteer organization) for five months. However, that country deported me back where I came before in accordance to the Dublin II agreement signed by all EU member countries.
Sadly, I have given up and sacrificed my career, my identity because of my sexuality and time is ticking before I knew it. It sounds bizarre but I haven't even received my master's degree up until a few months ago. There's no worse thing than your daily routine is reduced to eat, shit, sleep (if I sleep at all, the sleeping pill stop working). It is a harsh reality which haunts me every single day if I should go back to the prison or stay here and waste my potentials. I have been running away all my life from places to places and I don’t know when it stops, who knows this could be my destiny. All I want at the moment is just a decent life like anybody else, work, pay my bills and live freely, without fear, shame but I am this seemingly simple dream has become like hallucination.

Now I'm done with the endless waiting for a piece of paper, this purposeless life which has been dictated by others and I want my life back. So, I went to talk to my immigration assistant last week and he handed me over lasses passe (guess, that's a death warrant) to fill in to go back 'home' and told me that the probability my asylum being reconsider is way too little. What do you advice me or I should stop being a coward and confront all the consequences which are awaiting in my 'country'. Wish me luck.
add response to story
(user currently living in SWEDEN) posted for gay readers on 21/09/2010 +5
link
Dammit Sexuality

''Sexuality is powerful. Sometimes more powerful than personal or religious duty. We're willing to risk everything for the sake of it. Our lives, all that we have and all that we are.'' George, Elisabeth ''Deception On His Mind'' p. 727

I couldn't agree with you more Elisabeth, since I'm a living proof to this harsh reality. Dammit sexuality I'm stranded in the middle of nowhere at North Pole stripped off my identity, career, family, friends including my past and future. Dammit sexuality, my hands are tied up, my feet are chained, my mouth is gagged, my eyes are blind-folded, my soul is crushed and my brain is rusting and disillusioned. Damn it sexuality, I don't have no control over my destiny and life; I am still wandering from refugee camps to refugee camps and cramped up with four complete strangers from all corners of the globe -with whom I don't have nothing in common- in a tiny two-bed rooms flat. Dammit sexuality, I am still surviving on social security benefits while my straight colleagues/schoolmates/friends got married, have kids and working at various high level positions around the world and living at large. Damn you sexuality that I missed so many golden opportunities which I won't have them forever while waiting for a piece of paper that I will never get it. Dammit sexuality, for distorting my life beyond recognition and putting it on a roller coaster for the past five years. Damn it sexuality, for cutting off my contacts from families and friends make me lead a lonely and miserable life; if it wasn't for you I would have been on a first flight back home tomorrow in the morning. Damn you sexuality, if it wasn't for you; I wouldn't have been a victim of all these racial discrimination and stereotypes every single day at every corner of a freaking cold place on earth. Damn you sexuality, for tying me up with incurable disease, half a dozen pills, depression, long sleepless night, anxiety and make me feel hopeless & powerless. What else do you want from me, damn sexuality? I don't have anything left but my living dead skinny body with graying hair-take it if that's good enough for you.

I'm from Africa and I have been through a lot and I'm still suffering from issues related directly or indirectly to my sexuality. I still don't understand how I screwed-up my life like this, yeah the answer I guess is that I have a weak spot for bad guys which ruined everything and I found out that after it's too late. The worst thing is time is against me (am in my early 40s) chances are very slim to start life afresh, career, school or to have a life time partner. I came to Europe in 2004 for second time (the first one was in 1996) to do my masters degree, stayed behind and sought asylum after finishing the school hoping to have a break from a life long rejection, harassment, but above all from a life threatening extortionist even though some people warned me not to do so. Now I realized that it was the biggest and stupidest mistake I ever made in my life-too late and too little I can do to undo. This country where I am living now is one of the worst nightmares to be a gay especially for black men even if it is reputed to be one of the champions of human rights and most liberal and progressive countries in the globe towards LGBT persons. To make things worse I was in abusive relationship for the last couple of years. Misery loves company, I was diagnosed HIV positive in 2006 and a year later as if this was not enough my asylum case was rejected and requested to go back to my 'home country'. So, I went to another European country at the beginning of this year to try my chance but I was deported back to the country where I sought asylum-and here I am waiting and waiting to get protection but with no certainty.

Let me give some highlights about being gay in my 'home country'- well, it's no secret that homosexuality is illegal, punishable and attracts constant verbal/physical harassment from family members, neighbors, friends, co-workers, complete strangers, teachers, religious leaders in short from every sector of the society. If a guy looks feminine that makes it even worse-I remember tom girls were more tolerated and accepted than their counterparts. Most of these harassment happen out of hate and the society is constructed in patriarchal manner.
I was born in the capital city from a 'middle-class family' and was the second child of six siblings. I remember I was ridiculed, bullied and many times physically attacked by my parents, siblings, relatives, neighbors, teachers, any stranger from the street, for having a different look (which was/isn't my fault) other than 'normal' boys. I was called and even given derogatory nicknames by everybody that forced me to isolate and lock myself most of the time at home. I used to prefer deserted roads to go to school or some other places to avoid unprecedented attacks from complete strangers. Simply speaking, I was a loner, and an outcast, didn't have all the social skills to make friends until I was in my late 20s. I went to a college located in a very small town in the northern part of the country. It was very difficult to adapt to the way of life generally for teenage boy who had never been out of the big town and particularly for a gay guy. I got a nickname right away I landed at the college and my stay was not fun and adventurous as compared to other fellow students, most of the time I didn’t mingle with students to avoid rejection and unexpected harassment. I didn’t have the self-esteem or the courage to be who I am. You can imagine how stressful and difficult life can be at small college where everybody lives in everybody's pocket. During my last year at the college, I started a secret affair with this guy whom I guess was bisexual or experimental hetero-guy. The college was shut down when the gorilla group took control the environs of that town and we didn't have much to do except eating, sleeping and sneaking for casual sex once in a while. Things didn’t go well at the end; after we had sex this guy told his straight friends and conspired to rob all my pocket money that I had saved for the rainy season. I was devastated and crushed because of the stress I developed a gastritis so it was a good excuse for me to go back home to relieve myself from the daily humiliating ordeal after that incident. I went back home but my parents insisted me to go back and get my college diploma and warned me that I would be forcefully recruited by military junta if I didn’t. The price was not easy the news reached to everybody by the time I returned back to college, simply my last days were hell on earth, I had to limit my movements between lecture room and my dormitory and I used to skip some meal times often times to avoid bullying but I managed to graduate after 3months of tough journey. Then I went to a very remote part of the country as a teacher. My life got from bad to worse and there were moments I was contemplating to kill myself; if it wasn’t for my mother's sake I would have been history. I was humiliated, harassed and ridiculed not only by my colleagues but also my students and complete strangers. I had totally to transform myself so as to fit in the ‘’normal life’’ of small village. I started to grow beards and mustache, act talk and walk like a straight man but no matter how much I tried to be somebody that I was not it rarely served its purpose but along the way I made new 'friends'. I started living a double life and there's nothing worse than that kind of life. Eventually, some of my 'friends' suspected/found out about me so they trashed me and cut off their contact immediately. Others still wonder why I never dated or talked about women and even went further to hook me up with one. I don’t know why but somehow people who lived and worked around me including distant ones used their knowledge/assumption of my sexuality to attack me at any time they wanted. Due to this fact I usually stayed one or two months longer than I was supposed to be at the capital during winter break. I was able to pursue my education at the capital after 6years of my ordeal in that remote area. I vowed not to return to that place even though I made a deal to do so at the end of my study. I was jobless for almost for two years before I got a job at a media organization and served 4 horrible years where I was extorted, ridiculed, harassed and trashed. The worst was when I refused to have sex with this security guard at my employer office. Then he told his friends who live around my workplace to extort money from me, started bullying and calling me names in front of my colleagues. Sometimes I was even scared to walk to a nearby café or restaurant. Working for a media as a gay person in the first place was such a bad choice in a homophobic society. It is easier to be picked-up by anybody for whatever abuse, extortion or blackmail and the backfire is grave if one tries to react/act during such encounters. My life was in a roller coaster but luckily I got a scholarship in Europe and came here in 2004 and that same police man with his friends gang raped and robbed me in 2005 when I went back 'home' to do a research. I was shocked, ashamed and didn’t even dare to report the incident to the police since it is evident what the outcomes will be. Anyhow, I managed to get a new passport and came back to finish my studies. I vowed not to return and discussed the matter with fellow Africans but everybody is telling me that I won't be accepted as an asylum seeker since I was working the government and came here on scholarship. I started to get panic so I called the national LGBT organization and agreed to meet at the capital city at the end of the study. I told him that I would like to seek asylum and he told me I should come with evidence so that the immigration authorities to grant me a permission to stay. I told him I didn't and he advised me to hang around at the clubs to find a boyfriend who is willing to sign a paper. My panic started to get worse when a riot broke out in my country following a contested election, so I was so scared and was going every single night to the gay clubs in town to hook-up with somebody. One 'lucky' night I met this dude from neighboring African country-we immediately- clicked and told him about my problem after we dated for a while. He told me he has a wife and children in another town and advised me to seek asylum with made up story and identity so as be granted asylum status. I was so desperate I believed him, put all my documents including my passport with him and did as he told me-what I didn't know was he was another cone extortionist. Then, he started to show his true color (a drug addict, alcoholic, criminal) after I was sent to a refugee camp in the country side-he threatened to provide my passport unless I pay him cash. So, I went the capital city to fulfill his demand. Things got from bad to worse, I became his personal account and slave. He didn't budge even after I told him that all my money was finished, so I had to pick up empty drink bottles from the streets and sell them to meet his demands. To make the long story short, he made my life a nightmare when I told him that I was diagnosed HIV positive in 2006 his threatening got from bad to worse. I don't know what happened to him but he disappeared all of a sudden in 2007, and it was as if two tons of potato was lifted from my shoulder-life gets back to 'normal'. It is still beyond my imagination why I blew my promising future, career and continued to live the shitiest life (I was distributing newspapers, scrubbing toilets. Then, he showed up all of a sudden again in 2009 after disappearing for almost 2yrs and started to mess up my life-I just couldn't take it anymore so I went to another neighboring country to seek asylum. I felt for the first time free and my life started to show a semblance of normality with a bit of purpose (I was volunteering at refugee camp's kindergarten and another local volunteer organization) for five months. However, that country deported me back where I came before in accordance to the Dublin II agreement signed by all EU member countries.
Sadly, I have given up and sacrificed my career, my identity because of my sexuality and time is ticking before I knew it. It sounds bizarre but I haven't even received my master's degree up until a few months ago. There's no worse thing than your daily routine is reduced to eat, shit, sleep (if I sleep at all, the sleeping pill stop working). It is a harsh reality which haunts me every single day if I should go back to the prison or stay here and waste my potentials. I have been running away all my life from places to places and I don’t know when it stops, who knows this could be my destiny. All I want at the moment is just a decent life like anybody else, work, pay my bills and live freely, without fear, shame but I am this seemingly simple dream has become like hallucination.

Now I'm done with the endless waiting for a piece of paper, this purposeless life which has been dictated by others and I want my life back. So, I went to talk to my immigration assistant last week and he handed me over lasses passe (guess, that's a death warrant) to fill in to go back 'home' and told me that the probability my asylum being reconsider is way too little. What do you advice me or I should stop being a coward and confront all the consequences which are awaiting in my 'country'. Wish me luck.
add response to story
Meow (user currently living in AUSTRALIA) posted for gay lesbian transgender bisexual intersex straight readers on 05/10/2010 +0
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Gaga loves you.
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