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You are here: Home > Forum > A Place of Safety > General Talk > One year ago
One year ago  [message #66928] Sun, 22 July 2012 20:56 Go to next message
kupuna is currently offline  kupuna   Norway

Really getting into it
Location: Norway
Registered: February 2005
Messages: 510



Today was the first anniversary of last year's massacres in Oslo and at Utoya island in Lake Tyrifjorden in Norway. 77 people lost their lives that day.

http://kupuna.net/img/utoya.jpg

I easily understand why the Labour Party youth organization, AUF, once bought this small island for their summer camps. Even as far up north as here, you can find spots worth being called heaven on earth. This is indeed one of them, and it is hard to imagine the horrors there of last year's killings.

When I took this picture in June, the place was empty and quiet. Today, however, it was once more buzzing with life, a large number of the hundreds of people present being survivors of last year's killings. They were there to remember and honour their friends who lost their lives, and to defy the killer and his project. His aim had been to deal a fatal blow to our flavour of democratic society, and to the Labour Party and its youth movement in particular. Today's seremonies at Utoya and in Oslo demonstrated that he had failed.

The Labour Party has been a strong supporter of gay rights, and some of the victims of last year's massacre were rising stars within the party's youth organization, and also proudly gay. Fortunately, an increasing number of gay young people are being encouraged to occupy prime positions in Norwegian politics, and many of them are ready to do so.

Sadly, some gay people seem to believe that the struggle for equal rights is not an important one, and that the gay movement is irrelevant to them, unless it can provide parties galore and cheap drinks. They could not be more wrong, and even in our country, a liberal and secular western democracy, right wing populists seem to have wind in their sails, and their anti gay and anti minorities retorics gather a disturbing number of followers, despite the fact that we are hit neither by economic deprivation nor rising unemployment.
Re: One year ago  [message #66929 is a reply to message #66928] Sun, 22 July 2012 21:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13515



Quote:
kupuna wrote on Sun, 22 July 2012 21:56
Sadly, some gay people seem to believe that the struggle for equal rights is not an important one, and that the gay movement is irrelevant to them, unless it can provide parties galore and cheap drinks. They could not be more wrong, and even in our country, a liberal and secular western democracy, right wing populists seem to have wind in their sails, and their anti gay and anti minorities retorics gather a disturbing number of followers, despite the fact that we are hit neither by economic deprivation nor rising unemployment.

--
I have no issue with folk enjoying the advantages that others have fought for. In my youth I was unable, for many incorrect reasons, to be a gay man, nor could I be a gay activist. I am now able to be out as a gay man enjoying the advantages that those who fought have given me. 

In my own way I have grown up to be some sort of activist now, fighting quietly for the rights I enjoy to be given to others who do not enjoy them. Sometimes I am sad that I could not do that as a younger man.

So I do not mind those who simply take advantage of the battles fought by others. Such people will always be part of society. I expect them and welcome them.

I know this has been a highly selective reply to a post about an awful event. It was the only part of what you wrote that I felt I needed to answer in some small way.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: One year ago  [message #66930 is a reply to message #66929] Sun, 22 July 2012 22:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
kupuna is currently offline  kupuna   Norway

Really getting into it
Location: Norway
Registered: February 2005
Messages: 510



Quote:
I have no issue with folk enjoying the advantages that others have fought for. In my youth I was unable, for many incorrect reasons, to be a gay man, nor could I be a gay activist. I am now able to be out as a gay man enjoying the advantages that those who fought have given me.


I absolutely agree with you, Timmy. I have myself not been a fighter for gay rights, except the little part I may have played by trying to put some good ideas into the heads of my students. My reasons for not standing up, openly and proudly, are definitely no more valid than yours.

What I tried to convey, was an impression I have that a number of gay people seem to take what has been gained for granted, and a reluctance even to pay a small membership fee to support the important work which is done to influence public opinion and political processes in our parliament. And that, I think, is a pity.
Re: One year ago  [message #66931 is a reply to message #66930] Mon, 23 July 2012 07:39 Go to previous message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13515



The world will always contain those who take things, freedoms others have fought for, for granted. The freedom to declare that one has no religion is an example. Not very long ago in England one could be executed for such a declaration.

So I see your point and understand it. I even subscribe to a part of it, but I can't agree with it totally. I am gay, so are you. 'He' is gay, whoever he is. So are 'they'. But we are not a card carrying community, we are simply gay. The mayor of our town is, so is a local county councillor, and so are the two lads who run the best tea shop ever and another couple who run a retail establishment. We are all happy to be people, purely and simply. Others have fought for our rights. I have no idea if the others are grateful for that, I know I am.

[Updated on: Mon, 23 July 2012 22:09]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
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