The youth was tall and slim with light brown hair and dark brown eyes. Tom asked the man home, they had casual sex, and that should have been it. After all, that had been it with a thousand men before him. But afterward, as they lay on his narrow bed together, Tom opened up to the young man and told him of how he had begun to look for something more than sex, how he was yearning for a deeper involvement with someone. It was practically a monologue on Tom’s part. The young man said little, just a few bits of personal information. He was a dancer, new to the city; he came from the north, near the Swedish border. He smiled when he left.
The next night the same young man was waiting in the same place. He stayed that night.
Veli was twenty-one. Tom was thirty-three. They made no vows, no promises. Gradually they formed a relationship that was intimate, yet informal. In large areas of their lives, they did not think or feel anywhere near alike—most notably about Tom’s drawings. Veli was willing to help cut and paste images for Tom’s scrapbooks and to put on his leathers occasionally and hold a pose for Tom, but he was never very interested in all that.
Less than a year after the end of the Olympics, late one summer night, Tom met an attractive young man on a streetcorner. His name was Veli: the Finnish word for “brother.”
Published: 18th May 2021Tags: #TomOfFinland101, 101 Quiz, The Official Life and Work of a Gay Hero