Patrick and Thomas, Graphic Designer/Musician and Social Worker, Vienna, Austria

photo by Kevin Truong
(left)Patrick, (right) Thomas, photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
Thomas, photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
Patrick, photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
Thomas, in his own words:“(Being gay means) simple as the word gay was meant to be, being happy! It wasn’t always like that and I could have never imagined that when I was 16. So guys out there: “it gets – so much – better!”

I have been very lucky in life so far! As challenges in life, I would call for sure my coming out and the loss of people I was close with. Having a longterm-relationship is a challenge too, and will always be.

I never aimed for a big career. Having a relaxed life, lots of spare time, a roof over my head, trustful friends and on top off all that a partner is making me pretty happy. Off course working is part of it too, I like what I do, as long as I work in a great team. Beside all of that traveling around gives a luxury I wouldn’t want to miss a challenge for..

When I found out I was gay, it felt like it was the end of the world. There were no gay role models or education in school about and no internet, guess I am old. So I had been struggling alone, watching my friends making out on parties and falling in love with my best friend. My first coming out was to my cousin. She was/is a very openminded and smart girl/woman, we were pretty close – I mean she put me in her dresses. Everything should have been clear back then. When I opened my heart to her she was just like “Aha, yeah, and?” I was a bit disappointed but at the same time relieved. Than my closest friends, schoolmates – although I was more an outsider, but I felt it was important to tell everybody. Everybody beside my parents. When I started dating a guy in Vienna, I can remember my mother asking me, if I do any drugs because of my mysterious behavior. When I answered very annoyed, that I am just experiencing sexually with some guy, she remained silent. I was expecting her to tell my father, but when he came towards me one year later confronting me with a phone call he got from some guy of mine, we had a pretty tough fight. It took a few weeks or months until he could “deal” with it and another few to accept it. Today he’s not getting tired of saying, “it doesn’t matter who you love.”

If I look back in 2002 when I moved (to Vienna) there were almost no alternative parties. Just two regular clubs. But it slowly grew: the queer student party “versus” the oriental party “homoriental” made my nightlife more diverse. Not to forget to mention the underground club Subzero, where the first queer parties “G.spot” and “Fmqueer” started to change the party life.

Today, Vienna is full of parties from “queer to bear” but still has a lack of good gay bars. At the same time I see more diversity in “regular” parties. Vienna is getting more arty-farty-berlin-hipster-like, which is fun but sometimes annoying too.

I wish for the future that the gay community will be more a mixed crowd. Until now the scene is still separated more or less. Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders should stand up together for their rights and values – equalization, acceptance and love. As corny as it sounds is as simple as it hopefully is.

(Advice to my younger self) Quit smoking and start with sports!

No seriously, if I would give my younger self advice it would be that it’s totally fine to be gay. I guess it’s one of the most important things you need to hear from your environment before you start struggling with your sexuality.”

Patrick, in his own words: “In my own, chosen environment (being gay) means being myself/being accepted by all my beloved ones. It is for me also a very special way of life that feels totally right for me.

Outside this environment it means being different , unrepresented (like in ads or in politics) and/or discriminated (adoption/marriage).

Being gay in the countryside of Austria (and the lack of internet) was pretty hard, since there was no one I could talk to about my feelings. It took me a long time to figure it out, what was happening inside me and that my feelings towards boys were totally normal. My biggest success: moving to Vienna with 17 years and kind of starting a “new life” as a young, openly gay person, finding friends and being honest to everyone about my sexuality. (no secrets! no lying!)

Things were happening very fast, when I moved to the city. I started dating a cute boy and we were texting all the time. When I visited my mother for Christmas, she noticed I was sending messages every single minute. So she asked me about this particular person. Within a few minutes, she’d figured it out. First of all she was in a state of shock. I have to say that my mom is a very liberal, cool person and she always was talking to me like “oh, once you have a girlfriend – or a boyfriend – it will be like this or that…” – so I was shocked by myself about her reaction.

I went back to Vienna the next day and we didn’t talk that much. after a week, we met each other again and she explained me, that she was not shocked about my homosexuality but about the “confirmation” of her expectations/suspicions. She also felt very worried about all the troubles I would have in my life as a homosexual (discrimination, violence). Since my mom and I always had a very good relationship I would consider this as my official coming out – it was very important for me to let her finally know and afterwards our relationship was getting better than before.

I have the feeling that the gay community in Vienna is organized in a lot of small groups. I think, that this is a good thing, because it seems like – if you found the group that fits you best – you can get a lot of support.

(Advice to my younger self) Don’t worry about what people might think about you all the time. You don’t have to start a family in your life. You will soon explore that there are other ways of life – not just wife/children/house. And you can tell dad, that you are gay. he is totally cool about it.”

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