This is the Helge Ytterøy L’orange Appeal held in Haugesund’s Town Hall Square after the Pride Parade on Saturday 17 June.
Everyone needs a place to belong
Pride is simply delicious. Delicious because it’s fundamentally human: Everyone has a festival, event, or celebration they look forward to during the year. For many, it’s a cup final, a national camp, a concert or a party. For some, this is their annual cabin cruise with classmates. All of them are equally important, they are the focal point.
It’s a place where you feel you belong, and this creates a space to look forward to. A room full of joy, harmony and community. Pride is a meeting point, but also with seriousness.
Serious because we know that there are still those who stand along the road and do not dare. There are still some who hide their true selves. Some have unfounded fears, some have justified fears.
Then there are those who say that enough pride is enough now. There will never be enough pride, just as there will never be enough fanfare at a summer festival or enough football matches at the stadium. And it is unlikely that you have seen readers’ posts that there are too many football matches or festivals.
It could – and should – have been avoided
It was a special year. In 2022, we should finally be allowed to celebrate love and the right to love again who we want. Many celebrated, including here in Haugesund.
But then hatred showed its worst sides. Extremism as we know it exists. An extreme that allows it to spread in closed rooms, but comes out into the light at regular intervals. She comes from the far right and comes from religious fanatics in several religions, including “Christians”.
It hit in Orlando in 2016, in Bialystok in 2019, in Dresden in 2020, in France in 2021. And if we add in individuals who have been killed, physically injured, bullied to commit suicide, or “just” bullied, it becomes a long and sad list.
In the year 2022, Oslo has been bombed. But it did not stop at Oslo. In October, 2 were killed during a shooting at Café Queer in Bratislava, and 5 were killed in November in Colorado Springs.
Earlier in the month, we learned how unprepared the Norwegian authorities were and how little they took the obvious signals seriously. Those who were supposed to simply protect themselves took the weekend off!
It’s completely inconceivable that it could happen, I’m furious.
In addition: two days after the terrorist attack, the police chief refused public gatherings of gay people due to the unknown danger. The evaluation shows that this was not based on facts or advice. Our freedom of assembly was taken away. Not just once in Oslo, but in several places in the country over time – with the message that the situation is not clear. There are not only human rights violations, but also gross miscalculations.
Serious misjudgments that have contributed to LGBT insecurity that we should not test. As a friend wrote:
“Now I’m afraid that my life is at stake. That people will shoot us. With bullets. That those who are supposed to protect us cannot. Or will.”
That people throw shit. beats us. In the ugliest words. with habit. With spitting and mockery.
And that’s what I say, blond man, over fifty. What about all the insecure young people of color who are going to find that place and the life they should and should be allowed to live?
Dear Minister of Justice, Dear Prime Minister, A really thorough clean-up is needed here – and an apology from you, too!
People live in cities, towns, villages and neighborhoods across the country. And there I have a challenge for all of you who are now running for election, especially all of you with a mayor in your belly:
Action against prejudice and discrimination is practical action, in every municipality. Preventing bias by adopting various programs and tools to include them in kindergartens and schools, and demanding non-discrimination with partners who are professionals and volunteers. Show zero tolerance for discrimination and hate speech – this reduces the risk of youth in your municipality being radicalized and contributes to integration.
This is important, not only to prevent hate and discrimination. Most of us who are gay live a good life, but we know there are many who are not so healthy. We know that 80% of intersex women struggle with mental health and that 30% of this group have attempted suicide, that LGBT people with disabilities experience double discrimination, and that LGBT refugees often know they cannot return home: even with peace they are in Often they are not welcome at home.
people not ideologically
When I hear words like “transidology,” and that both the Norwegian authorities and the World Health Organization should stage a “coup” by activists and lobbyists to force new legislation – that’s when I get scared.
To refer to your fellow human beings as an ideology, and to warn against this “ideology” as dangerous and destructive: then you have dehumanized human beings, creating space to fight them. Not as people, but as something to eradicate.
Transgender people are whole people and have the same right to respect as any other individual. It’s not identity politics, and it’s not misguided genius. It is respect and inclusion.
What is pride?
Pride is not an ideology or something invented by an association. Pride has a long history from many countries. The rainbow flag is also not a symbol of a particular political organization or views.
The unique thing about Pride and the Rainbow Flag is precisely that no one owns it or has rights to it. It is a global celebration and universal symbol of respect, tolerance, equality and unity. What we celebrate today and throughout this month is the goal of a world where everyone is accepted – because no one is free until all are free!
So: happy pride!
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