Life for LGBTQ people in small towns all over the world seems to share the same scourge: religion. Bigotry is the main obstacle to achieve equality, no matter where you live. This is the story of the first Pride parade in Volda, a small community in Norway in which Bjorn-Tore (our main character) was born. He moved to Oslo to live his life as a gay man. Now he's happily married to his partner but he goes back to Volda for their first ever Pride parade. Can you imagine that? Ten years after he left, he goes back to participate in a Pride parade. The first in his hometown.
Does it sound familiar? It's the story of thousands and thousand of LGBTQ people who have to leave their place of origin in order to be able to live their life. It's also the story of fundamentalist xtians, who blindly follow dogma that not even they understand and use it to make lives miserable left and right. It's their goal in life: make everybody's life as miserable as possible.
The most pathetic person in the video? No, it's not the hateful pastor, who probably gets a boner trying to tell people how to live. It's Anja, the obviously conflicted 'ex-lesbian' who found Jesus and now uses the Bible as an obvious shield. She's the most obviously gay ex-gay person I've seen lately. Her looking at some old pictures of her as a baby dyke are heart wrenching. The longing masked as fake humor is almost palpable.
You can also see that it is the influence of younger people what drives the change in that little town. You can see that when Bjorn-Tore sees a neighbor's Pride flag his optimism for the possibility of change surges. This story does have a happy ending, though. There IS a parade and a celebration. And there is a friendly provost who states the obvious: some xtianists cherry pick their Leviticus quotes to demonize LGBTQ people. Not all xtianists, though.
We have to count our blessings. Many of us live in big cities or in mostly accepting communities, where dealing with bigots is not an everyday occurrence. And when it happens, we laugh them out of town. Many LGBTQ kids and people who live in small communities prone to fall pray of fundies do not have that possibility. They have to live in religious communities in a religious family and never have the chance to have a Pride parade while they live those small towns.
The job is not done. what those queer, femme people of color and outcasts started back in 1969 in Stonewall is not set on stone. The struggle continues. Take for example this presidency and the full on attack it has launched on LGBTQ rights. With a bigot like Mike Pence in the vice presidency and a stupid orange tinfoil dictator in the White House who courts the fundamentalist vote there is no rest in sight.
So wanna do something? Go to a Pride parade. Even if you don't march. Or even better, sign a petition, like the one Taylor Swift promoted: the Equality Act. Yep. A pop star seems to have more of a spine and a vision than your garden variety politician.
So, here. Be an activist: sing the EQUALITY ACT petition.
Because you know that Volda is really not too far away.