Tale ved Copenhagen Pride 2010

Jeg er single. Og når man er single og gerne vil holde op med at være det, kan man prøve lykken på et af utallige dating-websites. Et af dem skriver på forsiden, at deres website er CO2-neutralt. På et datingsite? Klima-bevidsthed er godt, men det stikker lidt i øjnene, synes jeg… Jeg diskuterede det med en kammerat som er fairtrade-aktivist og som hader når firmaer udvander hans hjerteblod med sådan en form for helt umotiveret og enkeltstående klima-sminkning. Han kalder det Green-washing.

På samme måde oplever LGBT-miljøet i disse år en form for Pink-washing, hvor firmaer, organisationer og enkeltpersoner søger at pynte sig med vores sag, men hvor vi kan blive i tvivl om engagementet stikker dybere end nogle pæne ord om plads til forskellighed eller giver dem en kant i deres markedsføring.

Jeg hedder Hans Christian Seidelin og jeg er Landsforperson i LGBT Danmark, Landsforeningen for bøsser, lesbiske, biseksuelle og transpersoner. Landsforeningen uddeler hvert år under Copenhagen Pride en pris til nogen som vi synes styrker arbejdet for LGBT-rettigheder. Nogen hvis arbejde foregår under stor modstand, hvor de svømmer mod strømmen. Vi kalder prisen “Årets Laks”.

Der har i år været en del polemik om, hvorvidt *alle* skal have lov til at deltage i Priden. Nogen mener at LGBT-miljøet bliver udsat for Pink-washing når nogen deltager, selv om de – i vores optik – ikke hører til, men prøver at score nogle point på vores bekostning. På at blive set i Priden sammen med os.

Det er helt tydeligt at Pride-paraden står mange menneesker meget nært. Og det er godt. Og jeg kan sagtens se, at det føles fornedrende for os, for vores pride, at nogen slår plat på noget som vi selv tager seriøst. Når de misbruger priden.

Men når noget bliver mainstream sådan som bøsser og lesbiske er blevet det, så mister vi kontrollen med det. Sko-reklamer, rejseselskaber, politiske partier. Pink-washing? Vi kan ikke vide det.

Vores lille klub holder op med at være eksklusiv. Vi kan på den ene side glæde os over synligheden, men vi kan også hurtigt føle at vi bliver for brede. Føle at det signal som *jeg* vil sende bliver slået i hartkorn med det signal som alkohol-firmaet der har hyret et dusin gogo-boys i små shorts vil sende.

Selvfølgelig skal vi diskutere med folk som helt tydeligt ikke går ind for ligebehandling hvorfor de går med i en parade som handler om netop ligebehandling. Men vi er nødt til at indse, at *vi også* skal ligebehandle. Vi kan ikke tillade os at ekskludere nogen, selv om vi ikke kan lide dem og de ret tydeligt heller ikke kan lide os. Hvorfor går de med? Vi ved det ikke, men hvis vi forskelsbehandler i dag, hvad er så vores argument for at de ikke må i morgen?

Der er nødt til at være højt til loftet i vores fællesskab.

::::::

“Hvorfor er Landsforeningen holdt op med at tale bøssernes sag?” Det er et spørgsmål jeg får med jævne mellemrum, særligt fra mænd der kan huske nogle år tilbage i miljøet.

Men hvad er “bøssesagen”? Hvad er “de lesbiskes sag”? Jeg ved det stadig ikke. Er sandheden ikke, at ingen af os ønsker nogen særstatus? Bøsser, lesbiske, biseksuelle og transpersoner; vi vil gerne bare behandles lige!

Jeg ved godt at nogle politikere, inkl nogle som er gået med i dag, mener at bøsser og lesbiske er blevet nogle rettighedsfascister, som har fået det de skal have og nu bare kræver mere. Men det skældsord, rettighedsfascist, vil jeg godt samle op og tage på som en medalje. For det er nemlig helt rigtigt set. Ligebehandling handler om lige rettigheder – menneskerettigheder – og dem skal vi ikke skamme os over at vi gerne vil have.

Jeg ved godt at det ord, menneskerettigheder, er et stort ord, som normalt er forbeholdt steder i verden hvor krænkelser af rettigheder berører folks liv helt anderledes konkret, nedværdigende, frihedstruende, måske endda livstruende. Men jeg synes ikke vi skal være bange for at sige det: LGBT-rettigheder er menneskerettigheder.

LGBT-rettigheder er menneskerettigheder. Og når det gælder i Danmark, så gælder det også udenfor. Vi har lige vandret gennem København i tusindtal med folk der vinkede fra vinduer og balkoner og stilladser. Lige på den anden side af Østersøen blev Baltic Pride i år gennemført i Litauen, den første Pride-parade i landet nogensinde. Det skete under massivt politiopbud, med voldsomme moddemonstrationer og i skyggen af, at landet har vedtaget en lov der forbyder al information om homoseksualitet til børn og unge. En endnu mere ekstrem lov er undervejs i Uganda i Østafrika, hvor LGBT-personer i værste fald risikerer dødsstraf.

Her kan ingen være i tvivl om, at LGBT-rettigheder *er* menneskerettigheder. Og en af de organisationer der har været mest synlige i kampen for rettigheder i de dele af verden hvor LGBT-personer har det sværest er Amnesty International. I årevis har Amnesty været en bærende kraft i at udpege forskelsbehandling og diskrimination, råbe politikere i hele verden op, indsamle underskrifter – og ikke mindst er Amnesty International massivt tilstede med frivillige aktivister til pride-parader i de lande hvor det er sværest at være åben om sin seksuelle orientering eller kønsidentitet, for eksempel i Litauen.

Det gør mig stolt, at Amnesty i Danmark fokuserer på LGBT-rettigheder i Uganda, skaber opmærksomhed om sagen – også uden for LGBT-miljøet, og støtter de lokale LGBT-organisationer der arbejder under meget svære forhold. Amnesty i Danmark er en værdifuld samarbejdspartner i kampen for LGBT-rettigheder – menneskerettigheder – i hele verden. Det er som at svømme imod strømmen, og jeg er stolt over i år at kunne uddele “Årets Laks” til Amnesty International.

Giv en stor hånd til kampagneleder for Amnesty Internationals antidiskriminationskampagne Helle Jacobsen.

Advertisements

Copenhagen Pride 2009 – Speech

As most of you know, there was an incident on Tuesday where one spectator thought it’d be a good idea to go to one of the Outgames sporting events and throw fireworks onto the field. A few of them exploded and an American runner was injured.

Now… The problem with insulting gay athletes is that they’re athletes. A couple of them ran after him and held him down until police arrived. He’s now detained by the police, the sports events continued and the runner was already back the next day to participate.

You know, one of the first messages of the gay rights movement was ‘We’re Here, We’re Queer, Get Used to It’. After this week, I’m looking forward to seeing the banners saying ‘We’re Here, We’re Queer, and We Can Run Faster Than You.’

It’s been an amazing week, and I want to thank the OutGames, The Copenhagen Pride, GLISA and everyone else who came together to organize this truly astounding, diverse and magic week. I also want to thank all of the athletes, fans, friends and allies, not least The Copenhagen Municipality who came out to make this a historic event for all of us and for Copenhagen.

A special thanks goes to the Copenhagen Police. You have been absolutely amazing during the recent months and especially during this past week.

My name’s HC Seidelin, and I’m the president of the LBL – The Danish LGBT Organization. I’m here this afternoon to give out two awards from our organization to people advancing gay rights around the world and here in Denmark.

But before I do that, I just want to quickly say something about what the OutGames means for Denmark and for me personally.

In October 2009 Denmark celebrates its 20th anniversary as the first country in the world to let same-sex couples enter a civil union. Last weekend we paid honor to Axel Axgil, the founder of our organization and the first man ever to get married to another man. Axel’s presence here really demonstrated to me that we’re all a part of something larger.

And that LGBT people and activists have been way before I was just a skinny boy in Jutland—realizing I fancied other skinny boys in Jutland. But it also made me realize that there are a lot more Axel Axgils out there, waiting for the world to tell them that the future has room for them too.

Events like the OutGames are a way for us to deliver that message. The OutGames is special because it’s an event where lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people can come together and represent not how we love, but what we love. The OutGames lets the world know that we really are everywhere. We’re in your families, we’re at your workplace, we’re on your sports field and yes, we’re in your locker rooms.

People are always talking about ‘the gay community’. But sometimes ‘the gay community’ is hard to see. You know, for a group defined by the term ‘homo’, we’re a pretty diverse bunch.

Some of us are from small towns, others from big cities. Some of us work in fashion or theater, others are plumbers and electricians. Some of us get up early every morning to go swimming, others think the backstroke is something you get at a massage parlor.

What I’m trying to say is, we’re here to celebrate not what makes us different, but what makes us the same.

It’s important for us to acknowledge that the gay community also includes a lot of people who couldn’t join us this week. And I’m not just talking about the members of our community who live in places where it’s illegal or unsafe to be out and open. No matter where you go, whether it’s Moldova or Massachusetts, you’ll find people struggling to be themselves, people who need to hear that the rest of the world supports them.

The OutGames sets an example to LGBT people around the world. It also sends a message to all the straight people: We are everywhere. We are united. And we can run faster than you.

Every year, the LBL – The Danish LGBT Organization gives an award to people who have advanced LGBT rights in Denmark and around the world. Over the years the awards have been presented to a wide range of politicians and activists, doctors as well as bakers, straight and gay alike. Our first award today is The LGBT Person of the Year.

This year the award goes to two people who were instrumental in getting the OutGames to Copenhagen. Any event that goes as smoothly as this one did has the feeling of being inevitable, like it had to be here. Trust me, this is far from the case, and a lot of hard work went into bringing this event to Copenhagen.
We at LBL feel incredibly privileged to participate in this event, and our award for LGBT Persons of the year go to the OutGames Campaign Manager and Sports Manager Ole Udsholt and Tommy Kristoffersen.

Our second award is the ‘Salmon’ award. Every year we give this award to someone who we think is swimming against the stream, and working hard for LGBT rights where it will really make a difference.
All the advances in LGBT rights we’ve seen in the last few years are the product of an incredible amount of work by lawyers, lawmakers and activists. Every same-sex marriage is signed on the shoulders of hundreds of hours of research and lobbying, not to mention thousands of pages of paperwork. Every single right and recognition that our community has earned we’ve worked incredibly hard for. And that work continues. This year we wanted to honor somebody who is intimately involved in that work, and this year’s Salmon Award goes to Sophie in t’Veld.

Mrs. In t’Veld is a member of the European Parliament, and the vice president of the Intergroup on LGBT rights. She has introduced a number of LGBT initiatives and has been instrumental in bringing up the issue time and again before the European Commission. She has also attended Pride celebrations just like this one in some of the most difficult parts of the world. For this work and more, she receives this year’s Salmon Award.


Last week I had the privilege of attending a speech where the great Israeli politician and activist Ayel Dayan addressed the question “Where do we go from here?”
And her answer was as simple as it is true: “Remember that the road ahead of you is always longer than the one behind you.” There’s so much more work to be done. The Human Rights Conference highlighted problems right now in Burundi, Uganda, The United States and Europe’s own Lithuania. We all face challenges; in this country, in your countries and all over the world. But this week has shown us how strong we are as a community and how much we can achieve when we come together in a love of freedom and freedom to love.

I thank you all for coming. Have a great night.