Emilie Köhler (29) and Alexander Lingovski (30) were not allowed to hold a solo lecture at Kulterhuset in Oslo, complaining of gender-affirming treatment.
Kulturhuset requests that a person who is satisfied with gender confirmation therapy be included in this event. Now they have canceled the lecture – against the organizer’s wishes.
– It’s sad that they want to censor certain experiences, says Emily Koehler.
– This implies that our perspective is not wanted and that only successful stories of change are allowed to come forward.
Women’s activists in Oslo are the organizers, and tell VG they feel disrespected by these two canceled invitees:
– Of course there are people with a successful history, but this is not a debate. We’ve invited two people to share their personal stories, says Natalie Roshaw.
VG has previously told the story of Alexander Lingovsky, one of the two speakers.
Lingovski was one of a handful of Norwegians who came forward with a name and photo and said they regretted the stomach surgery.
The other was Swedish Emilie Koehler, who stood in General information 2022 on NRK. Kohler thought life was better as a boy, but regretted it.
– Sonia Arisland from Kvinneactivistene says it is completely wrong to pit those who are satisfied with their treatment against those who feel they have made the worst choice of their life.
The event will take place this Saturday at Centralen.
Feminist activists are confused by the Kulturhuset area interfering with the content of the event.
Lingowski and Koehler will talk about detransition, which is about people who want to stop treatment with hormones — and don’t want to go through more activities to change their bodies. There are no national statistics on how many people regret gender-affirming therapy.
– Exclusive arrangement
The justification for Kulturhuset is that they require a more nuanced dialogue, in which a person who has had a successful transition should also participate, perhaps a moderator.
– Since it is now set up on their side, we feel it is an exceptional event, writes the booking manager from Kulturhuset in an email to Kvinneactivistene.
VG asks Kulterhuset why the two can’t share their story without facing backlash.
– Making our demand for balance a “dissident voice” is too far, writes Joa Harrison, marketing manager at Kulterhuset.
– As an open and inclusive arena for all, we want to ensure that all our open events are balanced by our diverse customer base.
Lingowski says that if Kulturhuset had even had a disabled person to speak to, he wouldn’t have bothered. Yet he experiences it as a double standard:
– I doubt they would have canceled if only transgenders were speaking there. No one said we needed a traitor vote to tie this up here.
– Seen as dangerous
Köhler also responds to Kulturhuset’s demands:
– I think it’s hard to understand it in any way other than it’s seen as dangerous to talk about how we came and changed, she says.
She believes such censorship is unfair to those standing for election who now struggle with gender dysphoria.
– They should have as much knowledge and experience as possible to make the right decision.
She doesn’t want the regret group getting bigger.
– For those who don’t believe me when I say that our team is growing at breakneck speed, this is a good example of why you haven’t heard about it. For those of us who have had a bad experience with transitioning, we are not welcome to talk about it openly.
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