Norwegians stage spontaneous Pride after Oslo shooting

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Norway’s queer community has remained defiant in the face of a shooting in front of an LGBTQ+ venue in Oslo by staging a “spontaneous” Pride parade.

Only hours before the capital city’s annual Pride parade, a man opened fire at three locations in Oslo’s nightlife district in the early hours of Saturday (25 June). Two were killed and at least 10 seriously wounded in an incident being investigated as an act of terrorism. Norway’s Police Security Service (PST) raised its terror alert level from “moderate” to “extraordinary” – the highest level – after the attack, NRK reported.

The suspect is believed to be a radicalised Islamist who is suffering from mental health problems, PST acting chief Roger Berg said at a 2pm press conference. He was known to security services since 2015. While the motive was unclear, Oslo Pride cancelled a parade scheduled for 12pm as one of the shootings took place outside the London Pub, one of the city’s largest LGBTQ+ venues.

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Anti-LGBTQ+ attacks by US extremist groups surge

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In Idaho, police recently found 31 members of a white supremacist group packed into the back of a U-Haul truck, apparently on their way to an LGBTQ+ pride event in the town of Coeur d’Alene.

Further west, a crew of Proud Boys interrupted a drag queen event in California, intimidating parents and children and screaming transphobic and homophobic insults. In Texas, a state plagued by anti-trans politics, a group of rightwingers screamed abuse and threatened attendees at an adults-only drag brunch.

The incidents, which led to multiple arrests, took place over just one weekend. It was a concentration of anti-LGBTQ+ hate in America that came as a shock to some – but not to the advocates and groups who have been warning of an alarming rise in anti-trans and gay speech over the past year, especially from the far right.

It’s an increase, they warn, that has been spurred by Republican politicians and rightwing media, who have pushed anti-LGBTQ+ talking points and legislation that has seen the rights and safety of an already marginalized group threatened.

“While there is always a fringe, extremist element that opposes LGBTQ equality, there has been an enormous increase in misinformation and lies about LGBTQ people entering mainstream discourse,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of Glaad, one of America’s largest LGBTQ+ rights organizations.

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The first-timer’s guide to Pride

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Happy Pride Month! ‘Tis the season to celebrate the rich history of our community and enjoy the present with parades and special events. Pride can be a lot of fun, but it can also be intimidating, especially if you’ve never attended a Pride event before.

It’s perfectly understandable to have a few questions about Pride, whether it’s your first time celebrating or your 25th. Fear not! We here at them. have put together this handy Pride 101 guide for Pride-goers of all ages to answer some of the inqueeries you may have.

How did Pride start?

That’s an excellent question. Pride Month commemorates the Stonewall riots in New York City in 1969, largely credited as the catalyst of the modern-day LGBTQ+ rights movement in the U.S.

The first Pride march took place in New York City in 1970. Originally, marches took place on the last Sunday in June as Gay Pride Day or Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day, but later spread out across the month and continued as a tradition over the years until it arrived to you! That’s beautiful, huh?

What do I wear?

You can wear whatever you want! It might seem like there’s a mandatory Queer Aesthetic™ (colorful dyed hair, crop tops, leather harnesses, etc.) to adhere to, but the only item we consider mandatory is sunscreen — protect that glowing, queer skin!

Pride is a great time to step outside the box and experiment with your look, but it’s also a time to embrace who you are and wear what you’re comfortable with. If there’s something you’ve been working up the courage to wear, why not give it a go? Whether you’re looking to try something outrageous or simple, you won’t be alone.

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Let’s celebrate the contributions the kink & BDSM communities made towards queer liberation

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This article was originally published two years ago but considering the controversy around the very same topic on social media today it still makes important points.

Earlier this month, just weeks before the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, a Twitter user shared a since-deleted viral tweet directed at Pride goers. It contained a number of statements about the nature of Pride, with one particular remark sparking a string of intra-community discourse: “Please don’t bring your k*nks/fet*shes to pride, there are minors @ pride and this can sexualise the event.”

Debate quickly followed within the queer community, calling into question the place of public displays of kink and BDSM at queer events. Some agreed with the original tweet, assenting that wearing fetish gear or publicly expressing one’s sexuality would violate the consent of those present, as it could make people feel uncomfortable or triggered.

Others challenged these sentiments. “Kinks, sex, and protest are all inherent parts of pride,” wrote Nicolette Mason on Twitter. “One of the core tenets of pride is liberation and working against cultural shaming,” wrote a user under the handle @atty_boy. “Calling to make pride ‘kid-friendly’ implies that celebrating sexuality and kink openly is bad. Normalizing these things is a GOAL of pride.”

Wherever you stand on the issue, the fact remains that BDSM, subversive sexuality, and leather culture have enjoyed a long history within the LGBTQ+ rights movement, and such public displays of sexuality are driven by much more than libido or countercultural impulses — they’re an inherent expression of queer culture and sexuality, and as such, deserve a place at Pride as much as anything.

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