Still quite a strong heterosexual norm exists in our society, causing prejudices and discrimination. How do those appear in our everyday life? Does media play a role in forming views? Can we see any actions for the better?
In our society there are prejudices that sexual minorities unfortunately face. The difference that young people experience because of their sexual orientation, may lead them feeling anguished and they might also be bullied. Especially with boys, some sort of fear towards gays still exist, and there is quite a strong heterosexual norm where men are stereotypically seen very masculine. In men’s world culture of silence can be noticed, and it is common that boys do not speak very openly with friends and family. Fortunately, there is a phone service available for boys, Poikien Puhelin, maintained by Väestöliitto, where young boys can speak confidentially with professional experienced in boy’s world.
For big companies and corporations, showing their values and standing up for human rights by flying the rainbow flag once a year during the Pride week, can be relatively easy way of showing interest on the matter. But, are there any concrete actions ongoing inside the offices, or is it yet another way to get more money?
Nordea is the first banking corporation in Finland partnering up with Helsinki Pride 2019, taking place on 24th-30th June. Some other official partners are Moomin, Stockmann warehouse, Varma insurance company and telephone companies Telia, Dna and Elisa. Bank concerns are usually considered as more traditional and conservative, and therefore this is a big step onward, raising different opinions. Nordea will participate in both internal and external activities before and during Pride, for example the parade and internal seminars.
“Nordea has the opportunity to make a difference in society and we want to grab that opportunity. We know that mixed teams perform better, and we see diversity as an asset. Nordea has a broad approach to these questions for instance in terms of our culture, work environment and recruitment”, says Åsa Nilsson Billme, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Nordea.
Kulta Katriina, one of the most well-known Finnish coffee roasteries, created a big fuss by posting a photo via social media channels Facebook and Instagram. In the photo two young women are holding hands, sitting very closely, just about to kiss each other. Photo was meant to reflect love and affection, in the name of Valentine’s Day. But the photo ended up being too much for some followers and viewers, stating they will never buy Kulta Katriina coffee again. Most of the comments were positive, but here were also dozens of unjustified comments made, which the administrator had to delete.
In media, sexual minorities are being presented in very narrow way. Minorities can experience that the image created by media is unfamiliar and not relatable. For example, people might have the idea of gays being always very sexual and diva like, attending wild parties and carnivals. HLBTIQ people are ordinary, so called grey people, living their everyday lives as everyone else, having serious emotional relationships like heterosexual. The question is, when do we stop calling minorities as minorities, and labelling people as a certain group?
Could we just see everybody the same, with similar needs and emotions, fears and joys, hoping to be fully accepted. Not forgetting every now and then to enjoy life and embrace our uniqueness!
– Ennakkoluulot piinaavat seksuaalista suuntautumistaan etsiviä nuoria. https://yle.fi/uutiset/3-7360939
– Suuryritykset osoittavat Pride-sympatiaa sateenkaarilipulla – tutkija peräänkuuluttaa myös konkreettisia tekoja. https://areena.yle.fi/1-4473082
– Kulta Katriina mainosti herkällä kuvalla – somessa puhkesi täysi myrsky. https://www.is.fi/taloussanomat/art-2000005997635.html
– Eettinen kuvankäyttö: miten viestiä kuvilla tasa-arvoisesti ja monimuotoisesti. https://stt.fi/eettinen-kuvankaytto-visuaalinen-viestinta/
– Pekka Haavisto harmittelee uutuuskirjassa Touko Aallon homoklubi-kohua: ”Vähemmistöissä olevat ovat usein arkisen harmaita ihmisiä” https://www.is.fi/politiikka/art-2000005960617.html