Reclaim Pride Oslo is a queer political counter festival alternative to the mainstream Pride celebration. Reclaim Pride Oslo collective consists of autonomous activists, queer and political collectives, non-governmental organizations and allies across nations and borders. Our aim is to raise political discussions and struggles that are considered too radical, too political or not suitable within the mainstream gay movement and official Pride celebrations.
We want to create a queer anticapitalist, antiracist, sexworker friendly, trans-inclusive solidarity space. No human is illegal, sex work is real work, no Pride in parades that includes cops and the military, no terfs and no sponsorship for good optics and pinkwashing of our Queer struggles! We have had enough of the Happy Pride™ bullshit, where ongoing struggles and abuse against our community are swept away in a sea of rainbows, glitter, bubbles and political spectatorship. We have had enough of the increasing commercialisation and monetization of Pride, which makes our community members pay to participate in our own culture and struggles.
In making Reclaim Pride, an alternative festival, we seek to downscale and rather work for more critical and direct participation in relation to Queer struggles. All of our events are free, and we pay ALL workers who don’t have the privilege to volunteer. Further, we are working to be as transparent as possible when it comes to sponsorships as well as who we invite and allow to contribute.
Our critiques of Pride are as follows:
- There is currently no organized community based feedback system for Pride. This prevents our community from being able to form a common and legitimized critique of the way in which Pride is currently organized. We are particularly interested in discussing in what direction our movement is heading, and who Pride (in its current form) is really for. Who’s in charge and who is allowed to set the Queer agenda in our Pride celebrations? If the answers to these questions do not include marginalized people in our community then something has gone terribly wrong along the way. As FRI is the primary organiser of Pride, we see this as their responsibility, and we expect to be invited to continue to work toward a broader inclusion of queer organisations and collectives across Norway and Sápmi.
- We want an end to lip service. Pride hosts a lot of debates and panel discussions through its festival, however we do not see any real effort to implement real change. Pride is political and it should therefore actively work towards dismantling social inequalities. Without any direct action against the systems of oppression, Pride remains merely an image, a spectacle and liberal ideology without any real impact. As such, Pride is a movement that only serves those of us who hold comfortable and privileged positions in our society. While Pride currently portrays itself as an intersectional festival, the work is not being done. What’s worse, is that such branding without real work and efforts behind it is actually more harmful to our community. We recognise that it is better to be honest about the impact of your organization, or that you are in the process of improving yourself or the organization you are working in, than saying that you are an intersectional and inclusive ally, when that is simply not the case.
- Pride should not be for everyone. If we agree that Pride IS political (as its origin) it means that it cannot include everyone. We are strongly against the participation of uniformed police and the military in the parade. Pride was originally a riot against the policing of marginalised groups, and as we have stated above, anti-criminalization is an important core value within queer struggles. As a formerly criminalized group, queer people, we cannot stand in solidarity with other marginalised and criminalized groups (who are also queer!) such as undocumented migrants, sex workers and drug users while at the same time standing side by side with police and military institutions. Equally, including folks from across the political spectrum also means including (far) right-winged politics. This further depoliticizes the movement as well as prevents Pride from being a radical space for change.
Reclaim Pride Oslo is a platform for Queer people that centers Queer love, friendship, ideas and creativity as a community building strategy. Not everything can be a fight, it’s also important to create safer spaces for Queer joy and mutual aid. It’s a place for solidarity and mutual struggles.
Our collective is open to join and participate in. You can reach out to us in the contact section. We want to create a platform for those left out, the misfits, losers, the bad and the ugly, the radicals, those who seek to destroy the status quo, those who are left out due to lack of resources, racism, money or some meritocratic bullshit of any kind.
Reclaim Pride Oslo is a place where mistakes are allowed and welcome. It’s a place for imperfections as we strive to improve as we go along. It’s a place where failing can be a resource to understand our differences and mistakes should be learnt from in order to further improvements and development of the movement.
Reclaim Pride is a place where critical feedback should be taken seriously, even feedback that sucks to hear because something was done wrong or contributed to oppression. It’s a place where people can do something they have never done before, where knowledge and professionality reaches beyond meritocratic oppression, where only the successful are allowed to participate or take stage. It’s a place to grow slowly, where crip time should be a resource for able bodied people to learn how to work differently in another time perspective and in comradery with others that need more time or view time differently.
Reclaim Pride Oslo is in a constant process of changing as the collective expands, shrinks, adapts and works together. It is not something constant and it should be flexible and in movement along with its participants and our community.
Queer love and solidarity
Reclaim Pride Oslo Collective.