Vähän ulkopuolella

  • 1 / 12
  • Capricorn
  • 14.1.2007 16:25
I am terribly new at this so if anybody would like to reply, please just jump in and help me out here. Go ahead and use finnish since I understand pretty well.

I've been in Finland many years already, but have come out of the closet (to some friend) only a few years ago. It is hard to find people of the same sexual orientation here in my town and just as hard to know whether they are lesbians or not. As for relationships, I am still recovering slowly from two very painly experiences. It doesn't help to feel so isolated at the moment because my work and my surroundings don't offer any possiblities to get to know anyone socially, and at the same time it really scares me some to subscribe to those dating things. I have visited HKI lesbian dances twice, but was quite a coward so kept to myself, as I am vunerable at the moment and naturally shy. So if you have any advice or comments as to how I might meet a lesbian friend/friends or liven my social life I would be grateful.

Osaan kyllä puhua suomea, mutta mielummin nyt vielä puhua englanniksi. Kuitenkin englanti on äidinkieleni ja on helpompi esitäytyä tutussa kielessä. Ymmärrän suomeksi hyvin joten vastaat suomeks jos haluat. Yrtiän käyttää suomea vähän myöhemmin.
Um, well English is also my mother tongue, but I do speak Finnish as I went to school here, and obviously I live here. My father is Swedish speaking, so my Finnish is accented and strange, but I make do. Mainly however, I find that my gaydar works like shit here as I grew up overseas, and far away, and who knew that gaydar is very much dependent on language and culture. Anyway, my rather haphazard biography aside, let me see what I can suggest. I am a veritable font of drivel most of the time, but I will try to make this post less than 1000 words.

By town, do you mean like a small town, or a small city? You say you have been to Helsinki dances twice, which means you have travelled there, or you live close enough to go there at will?

In September, there is a festival called Tribadien Yöt ja Päivät, which is devoted to women, and is about women, and so on, and well, it is full of women. The two Finnish lovers I have had since my return to Finland, I met at this festival, and subsequently became involved with. The event happens over a week, and it is filled with things that are broader in spectrum than a big bar with bad beer and base booming. Poetry readings, music, cultural things, comedy, gatherings, conversation, and so on. everyone is friendly, speaks English, and all in all, if you wanted a way to integrate yourself a little into the Lesbian community, it is a very relaxing way of doing it.

Here is the url to the homepages: http://www.tribadit.fi/

Also, Helsinki Pride is probably an idea to keep an eye on, again it offers a way of getting involved and having exposure, that is not centred on bar culture, which is really not for everyone, and understandably so.


Hehku is an arm of the Helsinki branch of SETA, (HeSETA) and it organises events for women, mainly the ones you find at DTM. Sometimes they have special occasions where special things are happening, and on those dates there is usually more going on at DTM then the usual. Perhaps something to observe as well?


I do not live anywhere near Uusimaa, so I can't really give you too much detail, but I have been involved with/participated in Tribadit, Pride, and Hehku,and have fond memories and intend to do more. So...


As for feeling vulnerable and shy, do you have any friends that you could go with? Or do some of these things with? It can help to have someone else there, who knows you or who you know...but if you are very closeted, that comes with its own set of problems.

Finland does have some very strong laws protecting sexual minorities, but those laws to not eliminate homophobia, or the dangers that homosexual face, so it really depends on where you are, and what you do. Also, a key is what are you prepared to put up with to be out?

Being out is not easy, and it is not possible to be out 100% of the time, not anywhere, and I have lived in cities that are considered to be 'Gay Mecca's'. Reading your situation, and deciding what to do, and having people to support you, is important.

I live in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere. Some people know, others would not be able to tell if I told them, and some have guessed. I have told some people, and I specifically avoid telling others, but I am older, and have been the object of gay bashing and other nice things, so my tendency is to err on the side of caution and only out myself to people I know are safe, or if the situation demands that I step up to the plate and be counted, some issue, or injustice. I was quite militant when I was younger, probably why I got my ass handed to me a few times.

But, your hurtful breakups, well, hmmm...

As cliche as it may sound, the show must go on, and I have had my heart crushed, stuffed into a meat grinder, and incinerated afterwards. One does recover though, if one wants to, and though we all carry baggage, it is important that when you embark on a new relationship, that you do not burden your new lover with your baggage, so now you should probably figure out how to get your baggage into a nice backpack, so you can carry and have your hands free for your new honey.

And remember, the best advice yet given is: That you do not have to take it... (the advice that is)

Ahh... wow, a reply!

Ha, ha, thanks for the exceptionally enlightening advice, and believe me, I do appreciate it. I was just about losing all hope of any response when suddenly this appeared. Seeing that you have your means of deduction, yes I do stay somewhat close to Helsinki, about an hour's drive away. On the matter of deduction, I was wondering what you were doing up at 4 am answering my damsel-in-distress email. O well, we all have our pecularities. However, I was grateful you did. It put a smile on my face when I read it.

About "hands free for your new honey", well that took the cake. THAT made me choke on my coffee and led to a lung-wrecking coughing spasm. I can see you are an unquenchable optimist. Yup, I know you were and are right, and your way of putting it was so disarming that I found new resolve to try and dump that baggage. However, the baggage is more like a monkey on my back, as the saying goes. Trying to get rid of it is easier said than done. Everytime one thinks one has given it the boot, it's back the next second scurrying up my back on and sinking its claws in for another good hold. I'll just have to keep on at it until one day the monkey will get the message. Thinking of you having you heart crushed, stuffed and incinerated does give me a vivid picture of your own set of "wonderful" experiences, and this at least gives me some courage to try and move on. However, it is subtle how this monkey works. For example, I can't find the nerve to approach anyone for a date because I am terrified of being rejected and that is like being crushed for me at the moment. Whatever "gaydar" or social skills I have, have been nuked. So here I am a coward, sitting in the shadows licking my wounds and angry with myself for it. I have always been the pick-yourself-up and get-a-move-on person, but now I am as nervous around other lesbians as a stutterer is in audience-packed speech presentation. My worry is that I am becoming a recluse and I hate that...longing to meet someone, but damn scared to death of managing it..catch 22! Sigh!

Yes, I have to get out of the closet more. Will try to go visit this Tribade thing. No, I'm not the "shout it out" and "parade -yourself-in-the-open" type of person. I just try not to lie when I am asked, but try not to volunteer either the truth. It is however, very enjoyable to read your tough-in-cheek way of writing and description of your experiences with the gaybashing and breakups. The dribble you promised to avoid would have made also interesting reading. Makes me wonder what you do for a living and how in heaven's name did you managed to maintain your energy in this type of climate. OK, enough of my nattering. Thanks again for the response. I would have utterly given up hope making any contact in future if not for it.

Off I go to do battle with my monkey.....wish me luck!
Anastasia sings ”I am sick and tired of always being sick and tired”. I would elaborate that and say that I am sick and tired of reading and hearing comments on climate in Northern Europe. Yes, the climate can be harsh and it certainly takes it toll, but one can not forever go on hiding behind the climate argument as an excuse for not doing this and that or for not being this and that. Nowadays when the global warming has changed the climate milder (well, stormier as well), the climate argument is even more ungrounded. Though, the climate change has made living in Northern Europe even more unbearable, some would certainly claim. (no snow = no light emanating from snow)

Sorry, this comment probably does not help you to "acclimatize" to the local culture and oddities, quite the contrary. I’ll write of the climate issue only because there might be others beside me, who get a bit offended of being reminded of the poor weather all the time. Sometimes it is not the safest topic to start a conversation with.

Otherwise, the baggage or the monkey that we all carry, is only as heavy as we make it. It is I who pack my backpack and it is I who can unpack it, piece by piece.
  • 5 / 12
  • Capricorn
  • 21.1.2007 16:30
It's amazing how communication on cybernet can get some people's panties all in a knot! I guess you have some unresolved issues of your own if you go off at the word "climate". You apparently don't have a clue what I have meant in jest. As for this kind of public forum/open discussion thing, I wonder whether it is good etiquette to jump down someone's throat everytime you see or hear a word that gets you foaming at the mouth. Apparently you get off on you own brand of "bashing". Since you have nothing positive to contribute my topic, I'll just not bother to address you on the matter of my baggage/monkey.
Who me, enlightening?

Wah ah nevuh!


Sage I ain't, trust me, but I am glad you found some use from my blatherings, lord knows I don't seem to know how to shut the hell up most of the time, so it is nice to know it is not all hot air.

As for my 4am answers, well I moonlight as a vampire, so it works with my schedule...

"Hmm, unquenchable optimist? Well there is not use in being pessimistic; it never works out very well anyway.

Not let me see here, what other pearls of drivel can I slather you with...

Monkey on back, is usually a by-product of upbringing, versus a direct consequence of a bad relationship, or a broken heart. In my experience anyway... (again, I am not a sage, I am just a crazy lesbian)

What I mean, is that feelings of self loathing, self disgust, and lack of self worth, are not usually created by a single event, or person, rather they are built up over time, and exacerbated by events that happen to us. It makes the monkeys pretty hard to deal with, and though I would love to impart you with some fail-safe way of getting rid of monkey, it is hard to undo a lifetime of programing. (Fuck, I sound like a self help book, someone shut me up!)

To be honest, it sounds to me like you need to work on your self confidence. A wise person, who is known as The Buddha, had a very smart thing to say, (well many smart things) but this one stuck in my head when I was twentyish, and just beginning to expand my life from teenager to adult...

The quote goes something like this:

"If you wish to possess a characteristic that you do not have, pretend that you have it, and eventually it will become yours... [sic]"

Things rarely happen all at once, rather they tend to go a step at a time, and often life is fraught with setbacks, and disappointments. Same goes with monkeys, and self esteem, they are not gotten rid of, or improved all at once. But the first steps are a beginning, and if nothing else, fake it. Though we all carry baggage, and some are suffocating in it, and others seem to carry it with surprising ease, it should not necessarily be the focus of who we are, even though in theory some could say, and probably quite accurately so, that we are the sum of what we have experienced. The thing is, we have a lot to still experience, so the equation is not complete, and the final numbers have not come in. (How are my metaphors? - call 1800 WHATTHEHELLISSHETALKINGABOUT)

You can't change your past, you can't really do much about your future, but you can effect the moment you are in, so try that to start with, and let the past be, and the future worry about itself.

Howzat for a pep talk?

Except I am being quite serious...

As for what I do for a living, I teach, write, play computer geek, and howl at the moon...

Re: The Climate

Well, weather is one of those things, it won't go away, and it does not care about me or how I feel about it, so I ignore it, mostly, no matter where I am...

Also, I did pick up on the fact that you were kidding... but I have an unfair advantage, I went to school and spent formative years of my life in English speaking countries, so I am able to pick up sarcasm, and jest in written word, as easily as in spoken word, and it also helps that I am very prone to it myself.

I am just glad for indoor plumbing, I remember a few times in my childhood going to the 'mökki' for ski holidays, and having my arse and naughty bits freeze when I went to the bathroom in the outhouse...
But we have such a delightful climate... (too sarcastic? though summers here are divine, and winter starting in about February sure can be pretty)

It is funny though, I have friends I went to school with in Australia, who complain about the heat, just as friends I have here, complain about the cold. We always seem to want what we cannot have....

Though I must say the start of winter was almost bikini weather here. Either that makes me weird, or it means I have finally achieved a level of acclimatization that means that I find any temperatures in the plus range to be warm. Most curious...

Could have done without the dreadful Kaamos though, I have spent about 10 or 12 years of my life in Finland, though not on stretch, and this is the first time I think I have been affected by the lack of light, due to the lack of snow. All the other Kaamos times, I have easily been able to ignore it. Go figure!

Piece by piece unpacking is an interesting concept, I will have to put that into my thought process.
  • 8 / 12
  • Snowhite
  • 22.1.2007 21:34
Oh yea, Arctia picked up one single word and if her answer was her only contribution to the previous discussion, it really is embarrassing. Really.

I know it is not that easy to get adjusted or actually become convinced one wants to live in Finland, but I am glad there are people who want to do it.

Actually, a friend of mine made that decision something like 20 years ago, and coming from near the Equator, it truly is an honest and brave choice (no low self-esteem here, please...). After some years of adaptation, she is well content and in many ways takes the conditions better than the natives do. ;-D

It is good to see this kind of exchange of opinions. As for Arctia, there are tremendous other sites for climate conversations. Tryhttp://www.fmi.fi.

All of us know this winter has been a bugger - but picking up one single word and attacking a person on those grounds is just unfair. If there is something else that bothers you, Arctia, please try to face the real cause.
  • 9 / 12
  • Capricorn
  • 29.1.2007 16:07
Hi Rain!

Sorry for the long pause. Just wanted to thank you for your very amusing and illuminating contribution again. Can't help thinking you must be quite a character...and just think of the poor things you're teaching! Ha, ha, but seriously, as usual you had thought-provoking and stimulating points.
Wonder what you teach....hmmmm!

Meanwhile, I am somehow putting the baggage down little by little. Giant leaps start with small steps... or something like that! Met someone recently and we get along very well. Ever so often (more than I would wish), my fears get in the way, sigh! Hope I don't buggle this time by driving the poor sweet soul away. But thankfully, already in this new beginning she is able to turn my fearful moments into a smile. Apparently she is made of much sterner stuff. Funny how you discover a gem when you think you'll never even find a stone!

Wish me luck.

p.s. It saddens me some though, not to me able to hear your lunatic dribble anymore... ;-) , but thank you for cheering me up during those times anyway. Be good! (somehow I think you need that reminder) ;-)
How nice that you have met someone! Yay!

As for my lunatic drivel, well I do keep a blog on this site, so you can keep up with my nonsense there!

What do I teach? What would you like to learn? *evil mischievous grin*

As for your new paramour, remember, who you are with, or having someone to be with, does not need, nor should it define your everything, you need to be able to overcome the feeling that your self worth is only valid if someone else wants you. Learn to love yourself; you are worth it!


And I am always good, muhuehehehee...