Mr Gay Europe Tim Küsters meets up with Mayor of Oslo, Anne Lindboe, to talk mental health

Graham Robson May 21, 2024

Mr Gay Europe Tim Küsters from the Netherlands and the mayor of Norway’s capital city, Anne Lindboe, talked about serious matters like mental health, but also the more light-hearted theme ‘first ladies’ when Tim was invited to the mayor’s office in Oslo.

Earlier in May, Mr Gay Europe Tim Küsters visited Oslo to finalise plans for his campaign Be Proud, Be Strong, Be Mentally Healthy.

He had a meeting with the organisation Mental Helse Ungdom (Mental Health Youth), where he received good and important advice and input on what young people are concerned about when they call the organisation’s helpline.

On the same trip, Tim also visited the Norwegian parliament, and he also got to meet the mayor. Although the topic for the meeting was serious enough, it turned out to be a cheerful meeting.

Tim Küsters, Mr. Gay Europe. Photo by Petter Berntsen/NTB/Mr Gay Europe

The mayor emphasised the importance of us all caring when we think or see that someone is struggling mentally.

“This is something that affects the whole of society, not just the LGBTQ+ community, but I know that the persons from the LGBTQ+ community have a much greater chance of having mental problems due to inflicted shame, minority stress and other challenges because you are part of a minority,” the mayor stated.

“I think what you are doing is very important, and I ensure you that Oslo municipality is a staunch ally to the LGBTQ+ community,” emphasised Lindboe.

Tim talked about his campaign and pointed out that it is intended as a low-threshold campaign where everyone can contribute, and referred to the list of things you can do to make life a little easier for others.

Tim Küsters talks to Ms. Anne Lindboe, Tim’s partner Tim Hendrickx (in the middle) and MGE president Tore Aasheim (far left) Photo: Petter Berntsen/NTB/Mr Gay Europe

“The most important thing is to ask, and at the same time be prepared to take your time and let the other person can talk. It is not dangerous to be direct, indeed, even asking someone if they have thought about suicide is not going to lead to someone committing suicide. The only thing that can happen is that you save a life,” Tim explained to the mayor.

Part of the Mr Gay Europe team is Tim’s partner, Tim Hendrickx. When Tim introduced his partner to the mayor, one of the other members of the team jokingly said; “yes, we just call him ‘first lady'” – something that caused a lot of laughter in the mayor’s office. The mayor later revealed, “that’s what I call my boyfriend too”.

The meeting in Oslo is the first of many that Tim will have around Europe in the coming months to raise awareness of the Be Proud, Be Strong, Be Mentally Healthy campaign.