Hello everyone in SFQ!
Stockholm Pride was awesome as usual, and we are now preparing for the SFQ yearly congress. Before talking more about the former, let’s start with the formal congress call to the latter.
SFQ:s 2023 congress will be held on Zoom, 1PM at Saturday the 21th of October. If needed, the congress will continue on Sunday the 22th. Members who wish to attend (including local branch delegates) please use the following link to sign up before Saturday the 30th September: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeaj57NJ1WP85Z9ZPvZhjqVtFTg3jfD9d6aQhMuGqwm-_BJaw/viewform
If you wish to nominate yourself or anybody else to a federal level position within SFQ (board, election committee, auditors) please contact the election committee at valberedningen (at) hbtqstudenterna.se
SFQ Statutes (Swedish):
SFQ Congress 2023 Agenda:
In accordance with the 2023 work plan ratified at the SFQ 2022 congress, SFQ:s federal board has now evaluated the idea of expanding SFQ:s range of students. The board has concluded the evaluation and is in favor of the idea, thus bringing it as a formal proposition for this year’s congress to vote on. The suggested expansion includes students at adult education (folkhögskolor and komvux) as well as high-school (gymnasieskolor). https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rq79dmR6s907JYEBr6l3ikbJx9RslEMrsLPvYJ986NI
Speaking of high schools and moving on from the formal congress call to the newsletter, going straight to the 2023 Stockholm Pride Parade. Those of us from the federal board who were still in Stockholm participated in the parade, hanging out with local branch members (who were marching with their university) and with Academic Pride as well as with other persons and sections which participated in the parade. One of these parade sections was a Stockholm high school which had its own LGBTQ club. During the brief conversation they mentioned that this club could be interested in joining SFQ in the future.
LGBTQ+-students, whether university students or high school students, tend to face the same kinds of problems. Fellow students (or in some cases teaches) who display blatant or passive-aggressive homophobia, kinkphobia, transphobia or other kind of queerphobia. Various structures which assumes everyone to be heterosexual and cisgender. In some cases also outdated course materials which demonizes, ridicules, incomprehensibilizes, or simply invisibilizes. Although a lot is much better for students today than they were for students in for example the nineties, there is still a lot which need to be improved.
SFQ started the Pride Week a bit early this year, having a conference on Saturday the 29th to Monday the 31th. SFQ members from different parts of the country meeting up, both to brainstorm the upcoming inclusion program and to hang out in general. The work and the social aspect both felt very inspiring, and I am so happy that SFQ has at last been able to hold a national IRL (In Real Life) conference since the pandemic. For the future, we aim to have an IRL conference every year while keeping the yearly congress digital. For 2024, we plan to have a conference (which also counts as an “extra congress” with the aim to finalize the inclusion program) in Gothenburg in April.
Mondy the 31th was a crossover day between Stockholm Pride House and the SFQ conference, with SFQ holding three speeches in a row at Pride House and then having a dinner in the evening. The three speeches, in Swedish, are now available online.
Hur konstruerar vi kärlek och sexualitet? Och på vilka villkor?
HBTQ-studenter till och från Sverige
Mellan repression och att krama ihjäl
Besides holding our own events, we also attended a lot of other Pride House speeces as well as other events during the week. Three important topics which each had several interesting talks fully or partially dedicated to them at this year’s Pride House were various aspects of how society systematically mistreats/mishandles…
A.) LGBTQ refugees,
B.) sex workers, and
C.) LGBTQ victims of domestic/sexual abuse.
(Content warning for the following two paragraphs going deeper into these issues)
LGBTQ refugees being denied asylum on bizarre grounds (such as failing for conform to a western stereotype of how an LGBTQ person’s personal journey is supposed to be rooted in self-hatred) or on catch-22 grounds (such as being denied asylum either for being in the closet or for NOT being in the closet) was mentioned as a humanitarian disaster. It was also mentioned as a cause of Migrationsverket having a hard time retaining employees who possess good LGBTQ competence, since such employees are at high risk of getting burned out and quitting – or even being driven to suicide by the tragedies they face.
Several talks brought up how LGBTQ victims of domestic/sexual abuse have a hard time getting any support. One discussion between Paulina Brandberg (Sweden’s minister of Equality) and representatives of RFSL and RFSU brought up how demands for viewing domestic and sexual violence as exclusively being “Men’s violence against women” makes it extremely hard to even acknowledge that domestic or sexual violence can even exist (and harder yet to do anything about it) in a same-sex relationship, in a relationship involving trans/nonbinary people, or in a relationship where a cis woman has the upper hand over a cis man. Here I would like to add that during the decade I worked in Kriminalvården (Sweden’s criminal care system), they had advanced programs for perpetrators of domestic and sexual abuse – but these programs were open only for heterosexual cis male abusers: Any perpetrator who was female or had a same-sex victim was automatically ineligible for participating in the program. The problem seemed to go much deeper than some simple matter of exclusion, but rather being that the entire programs were designed on the assumption that every person in the world is strictly heterosexual and cisgender and patriarchal.
While the excellent talks mentioned above were emotionally hard to listen to, they were a small and optional part of the festival. Perhaps the most interesting and important part. But there were also a lot of much more light-heated content, both in the Pride House and in the Pride Park. Everything from seminars on BDSM for beginners to presentations of lesbian literature. And one major improvement was that Pride House is now finally free for everyone! This is something which SFQ in general and our Stockholm University branch Rainbows in particular has been advocating for for many years. At Gothenburg’s corresponding festival West Pride, everything has been free and open for everyone ever since the beginning. Having the Pride Park area closed off by a paywall may have both advantages and disadvantages, but I have a hard time seeing ANY advantages of closing off the Pride House like that. Pride House is all about sharing knowledge, experience and ideas.
Withe these words, having already concluded the congress call, it is now time to also end this newsletter. Wishing youu all the best, and hoping to see you under happy circumstances in the future.
Xzenu Cronström Beskow
Federal chairperson of SFQ