Update, July 2022:
As you may know, Oslo Pride was largely cancelled this year due to a terror attack that was in all likelihood directed at the LGBTQIA+ community. The official parade was cancelled on the advice of the police, as was the memorial that was scheduled to happen two days later. Like so many others, I attended both impromptu events, and it was a powerful experience that I will not soon forget.
Pride is once more upon us. This year, I will be joining the parade, and I’d like to expand on why that is. Let’s wind back time to the last time the Oslo Pride Parade happened, in 2019.
I wasn’t in it, and I hadn’t even considered that I should be. Of course I shouldn’t be – I’m straight, I’m cisgender and so on and so forth. Simply put – as my thinking went – I am the exact person that Pride, and the Pride Parade, is NOT for. It isn’t my scene, and I like to think that know better than to force my way in.
I had, however, decided to go watch the parade and show my support. Not only for Pride in general, but also for my many friends who are part of the LGBTQIA+ spectrum – many of whom were in the parade themselves.
Now, one of the groups walking in the parade that I was particularly looking forward to seeing, was that of my labor union – NITO. As you might know if you’re a long-time reader of the blog, I’m a union steward for NITO where I work (since writing that blog post, I’ve become the head of the union local), and I have many dear friends who I know because of our shared connection through NITO.
I had timed it well; we (i.e. my family) had plans to meet friends in the afternoon, and I could see the NITO contingent of the parade coming down the block. I wave, and my friends see me. They immediately started urging me to join them in the parade, when it strikes me – I should have been there already – I’m a union representative, after all. I beg off, citing the aforementioned plans, but promise to join them next year.
Alas, next year there was no parade – instead we had the Covid-pandemic. Nor was there one in 2021. This year, it’s back on – and I’ll be there. I’ll be there for everyone who are part of the community but unable to be out, and I’ll be there to show that my union – and I – support the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Looking back, I honestly wish I’d come to the realisation that I belonged in the parade sooner. I didn’t, and there’s nothing I can do to change that. What I can do, is join it when it starts back up again this year.