Wednesday, May 25

Let’s celebrate pride on Kim Frieles gate

  • Ylva Schanche (19)

    Green Youth

I’m not sure what the reality would have been today if Kim Friele had not worked so hard for our human rights, writes Ylva Schanche (19).

Next time I celebrate pride, I want it to take place on Kim Frieles gate.

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What do you think, should the street change its name? Vote at the bottom of the case!

There are far too few women who have had a street named after them in Oslo.

Now it’s time to clean up the street signs. And it is time that the woman who made it possible to celebrate queer love in the streets of Norway, gets her place in the streets of Oslo.

A significant champion

Karen-Christine Friele, better known as Kim Friele, has a special place in the hearts of all of us who fight for human rights, especially gay rights.

Without Kim Friele, the world would have been poorer. We had had a worse policy for homosexuals and we had not come as far when it comes to human rights.

It is time that we honor the woman who made it possible to celebrate queer love in Norway, says Ylva Schanche (19).

We needed Kim, and we still need Kim. We must continue her struggle. We must never take our rights for granted.

KJ should be KF

One who does not have an equally special place or excelled, especially in terms of human rights, is kong Karl Johan of Sweden and Norway.

Do we have to honor a French-born king with Oslo’s most important street? Or can we honor a Norwegian human rights defender?

I definitely think we should honor Kim Friele, all queer and all who fight for equal rights. And we can do that by changing the name of Karl Johans gate to Kim Frieles gate.

There are many reasons to do so.

Much to thank for

Kim Friele was born in Bergen in 1935. When she was growing up, homosexuality was a criminal offense. We can thank Kim for repealing that part of the law 1972.

We can also thank Kim for abolishing homosexuality as psychiatric diagnosis, at the racism clause of the Penal Code was extended to include sexual orientation, that gays were allowed to marry and much, much more.

In 1993, Kim Friele and Wenche Lowzow the first lesbian couple to enter into a partnership in Norway.

The bench on Karl Johan

As if not all the fantastic work Kim has done is enough, she also has a connection to the street which is named after King Karl Johan.

When she moved from Bergen to Oslo as a young woman, she sat on a bench at the National Theater for two years. There she scouted for like-minded people.

I’m not sure what the reality would have been today if Kim Friele had not worked so hard for our rights. Could I have been openly queer? Could anyone have been? Had we celebrated pride?

Continue the fight

People are still being beaten and harassed for being queer. But thanks to Kim, those who are persecuted or incited can stand up for themselves in a completely different way. And they are met in a completely different way by the judiciary.

It is time that we honor the woman who made it possible to celebrate queer love in Norway.

Let us honor Norway’s most important gay activist by changing the name of Oslo’s main street. Let’s celebrate the next pride on Kim Frieles gate.


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