norwegian couple


Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

  • Translation: “What a terrible thing it is to wound someone you really care for - and to do it so unconsciously.”
I’m looking for selfishness. Perfect selfishness. Like, say I tell you I want to eat strawberry shortcake. And you stop everything you’re doing and run out and buy it for me. And you come back out of breath and get down on your knees and hold this strawberry shortcake out to me. And I say I don’t want it anymore and throw it out the window. That’s what I’m looking for.
—  Haruki MurakamiNorwegian Wood
The radar couple of Norwegian LGBT+ history

Karen-Christine “Kim”  Friele is a famous Norwegian LGBT+ activist and she was the first publicly out LGBT+ person in Norway. She was born Williamsen in Fana kommune in present day Bergen into a home she herself described as “conservative and respectable” in 1935. In her teenage years she played with the idea of her being a lesbian, but never acted on her attraction to women. In 1956 she got engaged to the young lawyer Ole Friele jr.

Less then a year later Kim broke off the engagement after meeting Aileen Britton, an Australian actress, that Kim describes as “an amazing woman” but when Ola broke his arm and begged for Kim to take him back she broke it off with Aileen and married him in 1959.

After the weeding Ola and Kim moved to Oslo together. After two years of marriage Kim told Ola that she was a lesbian and wanted a divorce. Her parents accepted her and supported her decision to divorce. 

She joined the secret organization for LGBT+ Norwegians called “Det norske forbundet av 1948″ Kim disliked how the organization was mainly used as a pick-up scene and had no real political power. She became leader in 1966 and started an aggressive politics to remove the 213 paragraph which made homosexuality illegal. The paragraph was removed in 1972. She later also got homosexuality removed as a mental disorder in Norway in 1978. In 1978 she also got “fritt ord”-award for her promotion of freedom of speech. 

In 1977 Kim Firele met Wenche Lowzow who was a member of parliament of the time. Wenche Lowzow was a conservative MP and Kim Firele was a member of the Norwegian Labour party at the time at first refused to meet with her meaning that it was impossible for a conservative MPs support the LGBT rights. Kim’s father was once quoted to say “Her being a lesbian isn’t that bad, her being a socialist is much worse” 

Nedless to say Kim and Wenche feel madly in love. Wenche wasn’t ready to come out and had problems dating the most prominent LGBT person in Norway. In 1979 she and other MPs was invited to “Det norske forbundet av 1948″  and when the Labour party MP said in her speech “that she didn’t know any gay people” Wenche Lowzow interrupted her and said:

“Dear Merle, for eight years I have been sitting behind you in the city consul. But today is the first day I tell you who I am. I am not here because of the Conservative party, but as a homosexual and a member of “Forbundet av 1948″” 

She then became the first openly LGBT+ MP in the Norwegian parliament. 

Kim and Wenche became one of the first same-sex couples to get a partnership in 1983 

Wenche sadly died in 2016 and Kim still lives in their home in Geilo.

Two inspiring strong women. Here is a picture of them from the Oslo pride parade in 2010 where they were both honorary guests