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Because the legislation in the country was not LBTQIA-friendly Dibia finally left Nigeria. He has, among other things, have been staying both in England and the US, today he is resident in Sweden.

– In Sweden you do not have to be afraid, says Dibia. This is the biggest difference between being homosexual in Nigeria and Sweden.

Although the situation of the LGBTQIA community in Sweden and in other Nordic countries is much better than in other parts of the world, there are still a lot of questions to work with. The responsibility for solidarity and better living conditions cannot only be shouldered by the HBTQIA group, but each one should take into account how you treat people from other cultures and with different sexualities.

Deidre Palacios, Chairman of the RFSL, the National League for Homosexuals, Bisexuals, Transporters, Queeras and Intersexpersoners’ rights participate in the conversation during the Umepride2020 and share thoughts about the problem of discrimination and which solutions can be developed.

– To reduce structural and institutionalized racism, homo- and transfobia, it is not enough to only educate people, says Palacios. Multiple changes are needed: laws, regulations and a policy that actually reduces differences between different groups, eg. A policy that benefits the reduction in pay differentials based on race and ethnicity.

What one can do today is to work against the structural and institutionalized racism. More research is also needed on different minorities, especially in Nordic context. Palacios points out that there are invisible, strong standards in society that leads to minorities being invisible and excluded. One of racism, homo and transfobin’s consequences is harassment. Hate talk and discrimination lead to mental illness and exclusion.

Today there is a need for increased knowledge – it is important in order to take accurate decisions. In the Nordic context, knowledge of those exposed to the double discrimination is lacking, i.e. because of both ethnicity and sexuality. Nordic cooperation plays a major role in these issues – together we can invest in relevant research and find solutions that will lead to a better future for all residents.

A good way to increase knowledge about other countries, cultures and minority groups is cultural exchange. Literature, music and film are good methods to get acquainted with “other realities”. One should learn more about other people and cultures, it will lead to a broader perspective on the world and more solidarity.

As a new country in the Nordic region, it is important as early as possible information about its rights and that you can participate in talks about sexuality, health, relationships and gender equality. However, as public organizations in the Nordic region, it is very important to account for human rights and prioritize issues related to, among other things, antirasistic work, violence, double discrimination and the rights of the LBTIQA people. The central work for equal opportunities for LGBTQIA people with a foreign background in the Nordic region is to increase knowledge about different groups and cultures and continue to develop work. In addition, more careful research on minority groups is required.

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