Volda



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.

Happy Pride!

XOXO


Comments

  1. OMG, I'm getting super emotional in my old age. When I saw that the neighbor had hung a pride flag, I...cried. I literally cried. That in this small town in Norway, where a gay man felt that he had to leave be be his authentic self, the residents were rallying around the gay community.

    I grew up in Chicago. I've lived in the area my entire life. I currently live in a small town, in a "red" county in the northwest suburbs. But Chicago has a large influence throughout the area. I am a mostly closeted bi-man, so I've never experienced bigotry directed at me first hand. I have a gay brother who married his longtime partner a few years ago. We love them both without question.

    But America is not Norway. We're WAY behind them. In small towns throughout America, this story unfolds over and over again. And it has to stop.

    Thanks, babe, for this post. I needed a good cry first thing in the morning.

    XOXO 👨‍❤️‍💋‍👨

    ReplyDelete
  2. I grew up in a small rural town and hoo boy, do I know the dynamics of such a place! Anyone who is different in any way is a target.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Living in a small town as an out gay man who has no problem being out and married and vocal about it, I can say I have experienced none of the homophobia I have seen in other places.Nearly everyone I meet is open and accepting and kind.
    When I say I'm married to a man,some folks look a little stunned because they didn't expect the answer but then they ask those same followup questions they'd ask if I was straight ... what's his name, what does he do, how long have you been married.
    It's nice.

    ReplyDelete
  4. My first Pride Parade was 1991 in Durham NC. I have never been to a Pride Parade that I didn't have tears running down my face. MY PEEPLE!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great post!!!! And I agree...and cant stress enough to get out to at least one pride parade or festival. We need to keep our guard up, and be seen as we still aren't going away anytime soon.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Religion is the Opiate of the People... Karl Marx

    ReplyDelete
  7. @Dave R: not people. Masses.

    ReplyDelete
  8. allies must also come out and support our LGBTQIA brothers and sisters. STAND UP TO H8! SILENCE = ACCEPTANCE! SILENCE = COMPLICIT! and I signed the petition.

    ReplyDelete
  9. @bae: oh it made me emotional too! IT has to be moving seeing progress come to your little neck of the woods, like in the video.
    @debra: it’s the worst sin one can commit when living in a small community: being different. For some there’s no option but leave.
    @bob: you are lucky. It also depends on geography and the level of privilege we carry. The Bible Belt I’m sure is not as accepting.
    @Jimmy: same! I always get terry eyed when I see either older people walking hand in hand or the gaylings and the baby dykes causing mayhem. It’s my tribe!
    @maddie: thnx, dear! 👨‍❤️‍💋‍👨 I’m doing Chicago this weekend. And you know we will persist!
    @Dave and @jimmy. Yes!
    @annamarie: and we are totally thankful of having allies like you, dear 😍

    XoXo

    ReplyDelete

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