Gay Integration in Sweden!


                    “It is not easy to write about integration in Sweden if you would not have the opportunity to integrate” This was what Mizo’s answer when I asked him to write his life and the integration in Sweden as a newcomer. Mizo is 21 years old, he was a student in law at Damascus University. He was sitting in front of me in my kitchen. I could figure that he was in a restless mood. Eventually, he asked my permission to go out to smoke in the yard.

Mizo had told me how much he felt lonely since he came to Sweden as a gay asylum seeker. He could not integrate with his compatriots in the asylum seekers’ accommodation -The building was located in a small town in woods- Because was unsure if they were homophobic or not. But he was sure that it was better to hide his sexual identity. So, he preferred to be silent and live inside his shell”.

“He left the asylum seekers’ accommodation exactly on the day he was granted his residence permit. Mizo wanted to start a new life in a big city in Sweden -He is keen to integrate- but his first shock was in the Samhälle course at the integration center. The teacher clearly said that she herself does not support the gay people’s rights. Then he added: The teacher is extremely gay, and Mizo gets messages from him on Grinder very often”.

“Regarding the integration center and the job center plan, He tried to start his new life by his own away. He began to attend the city bars and restaurants and look for where the gays people usually meet. Disappointment! Mizo could not build any friendships or bridges with the Swedish gay guys. These types whom dressed fancy and eat in expensive restaurants were not interested in a gay refugee”.

“Another choice here is the apps, where the gay men could be meeting and dating. He was tearful when he said: Many were blocking him or just ignoring after his answer that he is a refugee”.

In ten minutes, Mizo came back after he smoked his cigarette in the yard. He decided not to write an article himself; then he asked me to write what he just told me before.

Khaled Alesmael

This Article published in Swedish in Artikel 14 magazine in Autumn 2016.

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