KI participates in Stockholm Pride
Last week Stockholm Pride took place. The festival is part of a global movement to improve the life situation and rights of LGBTQ individuals. Karolinska Institutet participated again in this year’s colourful manifestation.
At Karolinska Institutet, everyone's equal opportunities and equal rights are fundamental, and part of an undertaking that is constantly worked on. KI has a great responsibility as an educational organiser, particularly as the healthcare personnel of the future are educated here.
“Our students shall graduate with the right knowledge to provide LGBTQ individuals with adequate care and support, no matter where they are in the care chain,” says Karin Dahlman-Wright, Vice President at Karolinska Institutet.
Great participation in the parade
One of the festival's great highlights was the Pride Parade on Saturday. According to the organiser Stockholm Pride, around 50,000 participants and 500,000 spectators took part. Ahead of the parade, Karolinska Institutet invited attendees to a warm-up party at Solna campus, serving snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. For the second year in a row, staff and students of Karolinska Institutet joined the parade together with several other educational institutions under a common flag, Academic Pride.
“However, it is important that we do not limit our activities and manifestations for everyone’s equal rights to individual days or a single week here or there. These are issues and perspectives that we need to work on continuously – and together,” says Karin Dahlman-Wright.
Important research on the health of LGBTQ individuals
Karolinska Institutet was also represented in Pride House, which is a forum for exchanging experiences and discussing challenges related to LGBTQ issues. One of the items on the agenda was a seminar held by Karolinska Institutet researchers Richard Bränström and Arjan Van Der Star on how societal factors affect the health of LGBTQ individuals. Depression, addiction, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts are higher among LGBTQ individuals than the rest of the population.
Bränström's research shows that there is a clear connection between a country's laws and norms and the state of health of its inhabitants. The more discriminating the legislation is and the more restrictive social norms there are about sexuality and gender identity, the greater the ill health among LGBTQ individuals.
“On the positive side, we can see that both activism and dissemination of knowledge have proven effective in changing norms and attitudes on a structural level. This in turn, has led to, amongst other things, changes at a legislative and policy level, with positive health effects,” concludes Richard Bränström.
LGBTQ is an umbrella term referring collectively to people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and/or queer.