By Bo Starsky
If you’re a reader of the works published by Improbable Press you might be familiar with me through my book, In Full Uniform. If not, my name is Bo and I am your local Norse cryptid.
This year I took the initiative to organize a PRIDE parade in my home town, the first we’ve ever had. It was gearing up to be a joyful celebration of all things queer. Then tragedy struck.
On the 25 June 2022, two people were murdered and twenty-one injured when a shooting took place outside of a gay bar in downtown Oslo. It was an attack driven by hatred that shook the nation to the core. As a result PRIDE celebrations have been postponed all over the nation as we recalibrate and take time to mourn.
We’re one of the many PRIDE committees who followed the police’s advice and postponed. Things like terror attacks aren’t supposed to happen in Norway, or anywhere for that matter. When are we going to be able to exist in peace without fear of violence when even the safest nation in the world for queer people isn’t safe at all?
Fear and loathing is regrettably something that’s widespread no matter where you go in the world, and what should have been a joyous celebration of queer existence turned into an event full of mourning. But that doesn’t mean we’re defeated. People can hate us as much as they want but they will never erase us.
For centuries we have been met with violence in what is claimed to be civilization, not very civil if you ask me, yet we’re still here and we’re still standing. There is nothing that can be done to snuff out the fire of our will to live in freedom. No person driven by hatred can ever erase us, events like these only serve to grow our determination. We will not stand down until we can walk down the street in peace, kiss our loved ones, or hold hands with anyone we like without being faced with violence.
This is why I spoke with my local NRK news station. We’re tired of living in fear.
Our parade is now scheduled for 3 September, the day before my birthday – what a party that'll be.
We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it.
Beauregard C. Furu
Bo Starsky is of the opinion that there isn’t enough LGBT+ fiction that have happy endings, which is why they wrote In Full Uniform. Along with writing books, you can find Bo writing fic on Archive of Our Own under the same name.