?Leave it to the Swedes for getting the controversy going. First, their national @Sweden Twitter account raised some hackles when its genius program of guest postings went a bit off the rails. Now, Stockholm Pride's "Time to Be Queer!" campaign has the usual suspects up in arms -- fundamentalist Christians, right wing organizations -- but also other Pride organizations, like one in Honolulu which said it set the LGBTQ movement back 20 years. At the same time it's won high praise from the blogosphere and national newspapers and no small amount of smirks around the Out offices.
"The campaign 'Time to be queer!" tries to convince heterosexuals to become LGBTQ with arguments that can be seen all over Stockholm on posters and on animated banners in the subway system and at the campaign sites: blihomo.nu, bliflata.nu, blibi.nu, bliqueer.nu, blitrans.nu, and blibog.nu," explains campaign manager Soliman Herrera Johansson. To get the arguments, the organization solicited social media to find out why one should be LGBTQ and then share them via Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Two winners were picked each week and had their arguments illustrated. About 500 were submitted overall.
For example, one of the winning arguments "#102 BECAUSE JESUS ALSO HAD TWO FATHERS" was presented to the Swedish Church and will be handed over as a gift to the Bishop of Stockholm -- who marches in the parade, it should be noted -- at this year's Stockholm Pride Festival.
"The goal is to highlight heteronormativity and the prejudices that exist about the LGBTQ community while showing the positive sides of being lesbian, bisexual, queer, transgender or gay," says Johansson. A noble goal to be sure.