As part of the steering committee that formulated the request, I’m impressed how quickly KI responded to our call. An official document was sent to the attention of the President of Medicisnka Föreningen, who showed our letter during a meeting this morning with heads of KI, including rector Anders Hamsten.
Here’s copy of the letter:
To Whom it may concern,
We are the board members of Queerolinska, the Medicinska Föreningen LGBTQ association. We represent the voice of homosexual, transsexual, bisexual employee and students in Karolinska Institutet.
As there are, unfortunately, members of KI that have experienced harassments and discriminations, we aim to improve the LGBT environment at Karolinska.
Queerolinska will represent Medicinska Föreningen at this year Stockholm Pride Parade which will be held on August 3rd. We also want to represent KI during this important event. By officially supporting Queerolinska in the parade, KI will contribute to create a better environment for its employees and students, since it will take a clear position regarding equality of humans rights. Every student deserves to feel safe on campus, and all universities should be committed to create a more LGBT-friendly study and work environment.
Ultimately, KI will join the long list of institutions from all over the world which have spoken out during a Gay Parade against discriminations.
The board of Queerolinska
Cecilia Frosteus, Ronja Liljedahl, Apostolos Taxiarchis and Riccardo Guidi
I’ll never stress enough how important it is that a medical University of the standard of Karolinska participates to the gay Pride.
As a matter of fact, Sweden is a liberal and progressive country that took proper action years ago to address LGBT equality in its society. However, within academia and hospitals the risk to encounter into heteronormativity remains high.
Heteronormativity: “the body of lifestyle norms where people fall into distinct and complementary genders (man and woman) with natural roles in life“.
To the say of Queerolinska, heteronormativity is an obstacle to excellent medical care, and the relationship with patients may be negatively affected if a doctor discount sexual individuality. Similar story for student/professors relationships in academia, from bachelor to PhD degrees.
As KI aims to become a leading medical university, taking the right side in the LGBT debates will greatly benefit its image and reputation. Indeed, the NIH has recently invested money to back medical research that selectively targets the LGBT community.
Ultimately, Karolinska is giving the example to other universities, as to our knowledge no other high-profile University has ever joined a Pride Parade. [I may be wrong here, but I failed to find evidence of this on the web. I am keen to know more about this, please contact me if you know something!!].
We are now able to activate our networks and to ensure that Madicinska Föreningen and Karolinska Institutet will be represented at their very best to such joyful, yet important event.
To join the force and march on the Parade with us, join our Facebook group or email to: queerolinska [at] medicinskaforeningen.se