(Dagbladet): He was 14 years old when he realized that, but because “homo” was and is a person understood Jon Reidar Øyan “that he had to shut up”.
When he was 19 he couldn’t more. He opened not his mouth, but took to the pen. In an emotional letter to the parents, explained the Øyan that he was gay.
He opens the letter with the title “Why just me?”, as follows:
“You have probably many times thought of you the question ‘Why has Jon Reidar never had a lady a long time?’ Actually this question is as much of a riddle for me as for you.”
Located in the safe
In the christmas season got Øyan, which is now bystyrerepresentant for the Labour party in Oslo, a reunion with the letter. At home with their parents in Trøndelag, in a box, has the letter been lying ever since he delivered it by hand 17 years ago.
On little christmas eve found the parents it forward again.
We sat and kikka on it. Chatted, laughed and tree branch. We had a nice conversation, and then mentioned that it might be nice to share it with others. Maybe it could help someone.
And that was exactly what Øyan did. On his open Facebook profile just around midnight the first christmas day, he shared images of the handwritten pages. Bystyrerepresentanten also is the number ten on the Oslo Party stortingsliste to the next options.
In the letter, over six pages, fold the then-19-year-old Øyan out about følelseslivet his in the years before he wrote the letter. He was at his most vulnerable, he explains today. He was also afraid, for how their parents and, not least, those around him would react.
“It will take time before you are able to admit that you have a son who is gay. But after a while, I hope that you manage to be happy in me again”, he writes.
He had nothing to fear, it was to prove.
my Parents were completely sovereign, and was terrified that it was a completely different letter than a “get out of the closet”-letter when I delivered it and then went again, ” says Øyan.
And they think it was hurt to know that I was afraid to say it to them. Hurts to think about why I thought that they would take the news so bad. It had not so much them to do, but it’s all about making themselves motstandsmekanismer and make themselves so strong that they can cope with any resistance, add Øyan.
- Was a bit of therapy
He resorted to brevformen, not because he was afraid to speak, but because he would explain. Much, and then get the reaction.
” I wanted to put it into a larger context. If you just say “mom, I’m gay” there might be 1000 questions before you have time to say anything more. It was a bit of therapy too, to be able to write out the four years of trapped frustration in a letter, ” says Øyan in the day.
When he was 19 years old and chose to get out, went Øyan on the last year of high school in Orkdal. On idrettsgymnaset he went on fotballinja. “Macho” and “testosterone” are words he uses to explain the klassemiljøet and the school.
I was terribly afraid at the time. And I was even one of the largest homofobene that were in hylekoret and shouted “fucking homo” to the judge so that no one would figure out that I was gay, ” says bystyrerepresentanten.
And even though it is in Norway today are common ekteskapslov and a completely different openness around homosexuality, it is still difficult to stand up, tell Øyan.
“Homo” is still one of the skjellsordene that are used most of the skolegårder, on football fields and in school, but the openness and role models one can associate itself with, it is very clear more and more of today than for 15 to 20 years ago, ” says Øyan.
He, in common with many others this fall and winter, draws the NRK tv-series “Shame” and praises the popular TV series when he will talk about acceptance today vs. 10 years ago.
- It can gain a crucial importance for all 15-16-17 year-olds, and brings maybe a little bit of hope in a rather dark and dreary everyday life for many, ” says Øyan.
the Community at large also have more knowledge and understanding of what it means to be gay today than they had a few years ago.
- a lot has happened, fortunately. Before, it was a curiosity if one knew a gay person well. Today they are in most families. But my grandfather said it really really well when he said to me “Jon Reidar, I don’t understand, but it’s okay”. And it is not all one needs to understand.
- Large delivery
the Idea of posting pictures of the letter, seems Øyan was a nice idea, but admits at the same time that he did it completely without thought.
I must admit that this is one of the largest utleveringene in my life. It was written in my most vulnerable time in my life, and now blottla I who this little politikerspiren was for the whole Norwegian population, ” says bystyrerepresentanten.
But it is very nice to see that so many parents have been inside and read and commented on. They write that they do not want their children to struggle with such thoughts. I think that it is okay with a reminder that you never know who your child is going to be. Then it is important to be spacious, generous and a little caution with the way you mention others.