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PRIDE – International solidarity: Stronger together

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Illustration photo: To the left, the Stonewall Inn as it looked in 1969. The window reads: "We homosexuals plead with our people to help maintain peaceful and quiet conduct on the streets of the Village." Diana Davies © New York Public Library (wikipedia.org, CC BY-SA 3.0). To the right, the rainbow flag symbolizing the LGBT movement. Ludovic Bertron (commons.wikimedia.org, CC-BY-2.0)

Are you wondering why we celebrate Pride? Pride is about making queer culture visible, and celebrating queer love and diversity. It is about remembering battles that have been fought, victories and losses, which have led us to where we are today. In Norway, Pride is no longer just a celebration for queer people, but has also become a celebration in which the majority population, businesses, and political actors participate. Internationally, we see that Pride is being celebrated in more and more places. A strong mobilization for the rights of LGBTQI+ people worldwide over the last decade has led to many breakthroughs. Yet Pride is also a reminder that equal rights, recognition and respect cannot be taken for granted, and that these things are still not a reality for everyone. International solidarity is therefore crucial to equal rights worldwide.

STK has collected a handful of texts from UiO researchers and other relevant partners, that we hope can provide some insight into the research being conducted on Pride-related topics.

New in 2021

Are all genders and sexualities equally protected against discrimination?

Despite legislation that recognizes sexual and gender diversity both in Norway and internationally, we see that binary gender norms and heteronormativity stubbornly persist in our legal structures. This means that in practice, people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or intersex (LGBTI) might not be protected from discrimination.

Understanding Intimate Partner Violence Among Ethnic and Sexual Minorities

We do not know enough about intimate partner violence in the LGBTQ+ community, and those who belong to both an ethnic and a sexual minority are especially vulnerable. This can mean that they do not receive the help they need. 

Bildet kan inneholde: Tekst, Font, Linje, Logo, Grafikk.

 

Bildet kan inneholde: tekst, font, grafisk design, linje, colorfulness.

Bildet kan inneholde: Sirkel, Linje, Logo, Grafikk.

Theme: Rights and international solidarity

Increasing polarization in Brazil

Today's Brazil is in many ways an extreme example of the increasing polarization between those who claim to defend family values and fight against gender ideology on the one hand, and those who fight for equal rights between genders and different minorities on the other. But fortunately, there are also positive signs. New movements are constantly emerging, and everything indicates that the new generation of Latin Americans are refusing to believe the narrative that sexual liberation is the cause of societal dissolution and chaos, writes Bendicte Bull, Professor at the Centre for Development and Environment, UiO. 

Poland: A homophobic state, but not a homophobic society

Poland’s LGBT problem is serious, but it must be seen as a political battle: hatred against sexual minorities is being mobilized by the populist right in coalition with ultra-conservative groups like Ordo Iuris. Of course, the anti-LGBT propaganda is doing real damage. People are increasingly using the word “fascism” to describe what is going on. But we are a homophobic state, not a homophobic society, writes Agnieszka Graff, Associate Professor at The American Studies Center, University of Warsaw, Poland.

International peace and security policy

The anti-gender movements and the backlash against women and LGBTI+ persons weakens the further enhancement of the WPS agenda, and possibilities of LGBTI+ persons inclusion into international security policy. While the topic areas discussed as part of the WPS agenda have distinct identifying factors and unique challenges, the gendered dimensions of the WPS agenda could be a way in for LGBTI+ issues on the security side of the UN, writes Johanne Rokke Elvebakken, Coordinator of the PRIO Gender, Peace and Security Centre, The Peace Research Institute in Oslo.

Equal rights, recognition and respect?

As a result of an almost 70-year struggle, lesbians, gays and bisexuals today have good protection and equal rights. Is the "fight" finally won? Some might say yes, and that it is time to shut down the gay movement. But equal rights for gays and lesbians does not mean that other groups such as transgender people have equal rights, where in fact much work remains to be done. In addition, the gay movement also has an international responsibility, to continue fighting in solidarity with gays and lesbians in other countries, who continue to face discrimination and persecution. It is also important that it is not just about being right, but also getting rights, writes Ragnhild Helene Hennum, Professor at the Department of Public and International Law, The Faculty of Law, UiO. 

Theme: Nordic perspectives

Queer Sámi organization

Sámi people who were openly queer early on risked a lot, including being bullied in public, but they also met those who harassed them with appropriate response. A handful of people stood on the barricades when no one else dared, shouting to the public about verbal and physical violence, harassment, discrimination and suicide. Their openness and work prepared the ground for what was to come over the next ten years. They showed a fighting spirit that reminded those of us who came after that we have the right to be here, write Dávvet Bruun-Solbakk, board member of Garmeres - Norwegian section and Elisabeth Stubberud, leader of Garmeres - Norwegian section and Researcher at NTNU and Nordland Research Institute. 

Gender and sexuality in the Viking Age

Gender roles in the Viking Age are often presented as a neatly segregated affair, wherein men and women inhabit different social roles and even spheres. New research however, indicates that things are likely to have been more complex. Numerous sources indicate that Viking Age society had a completely different relationship to the body and to bodily functions than what eventually became the ruling norm through the Christian Middle Ages and more recent history. Sexual acts were not something to be hidden for example, nor were they shameful or polluted in any way, writes Marianne Moen, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Museum of Cultural History, UiO.

An alternative Scandinavian tradition?

The tradition of marking the anniversary of the Stonewall uprising has spread from New York to the entire world, and unfortunately it has led to the misconception that this riot was the defining moment for LGBTI+ people in all countries. A classic American cultural imperialist idea - to put it harshly. And you have to - because in Scandinavia we have an activist history that goes back further than 1969, and this is amongst other things what we want to show with our research project, writes Peter Edelberg, Associate Professor at the SAXO-Institute, University of Copenhagen. 

Theme: Queer perspectives on the body, sexuality, and identity

We must not be left with just one prevailing model

The increasingly global popular culture, where virtually 'everyone' consumes the same things, most often American series and movies, fashion, as well as Facebook's global spread, are also characterized by paradoxes. On the one hand, western norms and ideals of equality and diversity have been spread across the globe. This implies a real opportunity for influence in a democratizing direction related to gender and sexual diversity and rights in conservative and religious fundamentalist societies. But from a post-colonialist perspective, Western hegemony associated with the proliferation of popular cultural representations can also be problematic. The massive influence of Western popular cultural expressions has often replaced, or erased, local traditions. And the western modern notion of homosexuality and heterosexuality, male and female – as essential and biologically distinct categories – prevail, writes Wencke Mühleisen, Guest Researcher at the Centre for Gender Research, UiO. 

Everyone must constantly rethink their body

Cis people must also continuously rethink their body over their life-span. They rework their understanding of their own bodies through mainstream cultural narratives about the body. What about cultural images of transgender people? Here we lack the multitude of images that can soften intermediate positions, processes of change and transitions. We need a politics of social and cultural long-term change for transgender people too. Using the lens of queer theory, the battle for rights to medication and surgery directed at the public health system is not necessarily the best political strategy in the long run. However, at the moment medication and surgery are saving lives every day, demonstrating a political dilemma that runs very deep, writes Agnes Bolsø, Professor at the Centre for Gender Research, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture, NTNU. 

The Asexual Potential

Asexuality can bring nuance to our perspectives on sexuality. For instance, there is not necessarily a correlation between physical responses and subjective experiences of desire for those involved in sexual activities. The expectation of correlation between physical responses and subjective experiences of desire have two specific consequences: If a person has a physical response in a situation where they do not want to engage in sexual activities, they risk being sexualized against their will. This is one reason why explicit consent is so important: a person’s physical responses are no guarantee that they actually want to engage in any sexual activities, writes Sunniva Tobiasen, Research Assistent at the Centre for Gender Research, UiO.

Further reading

  • Gender dysphoria by Reidar Schei Jessen, PhD candidate at Oslo University Hospital/Department of Psychology, UiO
  • Was Jesus queer? by Halvor Moxnes, Professor Emeritus at The Faculty of Theology, UiO