Homosexuality in Sweden Posted by Katja on Jul 15, 2013 in Culture, Living in Sweden
I am very proud of my country for lots of reasons. In many ways equality has come very far in Sweden and that is the image we portray to the outside world. People in other countries usually don’t have any lack of praise for Sweden, and Swedish politicians want Sweden to take on a world leadership role in even more areas of social rights.
This blog post is going to focus on the two-faced reality of being homosexual in Sweden.
Firstly Sweden is probably a very good place to live as a homosexual. Legally and to some extent socially, Sweden has led the world in making gay marriage acceptable and fully legal.
From the 60’s to the 80’s a sexual revolution took place. Filmmakers like Ingmar Bergman and Vilgot Sjöman caused a lot of debate and quite some uproar with what they chose to show on screen. Even though Sweden was still actually quite a conservative country regarding sex and the international image of the Swedish sexuality was very exaggerated, an image of “hot love and cold people” emerged. This led many people who couldn’t be accepted for who they were to move to Sweden during the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Sweden and many other of the Nordic countries are still today much more liberal regarding sex than the rest of the world.
On the other hand, despite the positive attitude towards homosexuality, equal rights and openness many are horrifically surprised by what is written online. People write extremely graphic sexual insults online over social medias even though their personal accounts are traceable and their names are displayed. Women are especially targeted on the Internet regarding these types of harassment.
The most recent incident of sexual harassment occurring online was when the Swedish women’s national football team (known by many as soccer) played their first match in the European championships against Denmark and drew 1-1. There are a couple of women on the team who are openly homosexual, including their coach Pia Sundhage. But that a draw in football should result in explicit sexual harassment from behind the safety of computer screens is a disgrace to everything Sweden is proud of being.
This behavior is of course only characteristic of a small group of individuals, but has become more and more common over the last couple of years. This is another side to Sweden, one that is much less spoken about.
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