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The parade is over…

Published on July 26, 2010 by: in: Society

I have never been a keen enthusiast of love, equality or minority parades and the like. I have always claimed that certain transformations in our minds are supposed to be introduced gradually, not immediately. As it has turned out, it is exactly what has happened. This year’s parade, despite a few objections and protests (which, in my opinion, are as much important as the issues people object), proved that we are heading in the right direction, in the direction of normality. Probably I will be asked a question: what is normality? And that is the point, I do not know it myself. Is there commonly recognised normality and who can decide what is normal and what is not? Who makes the rules? From the sociological perspective, all the norms (based on values) are set by a given social group. Until something is the norm (is consistent with the values), it is recognised as abnormal. However, the society is constantly undergoing changes, thus also the social norms are transforming. I will allow myself a personal digression. In 1999 I took part in student exchange programme with a school in Sweden. Every country of Western Europe seemed as something attractive and better to us, young people. Probably we were ashamed that we came from obolary Poland. For the first time in my life I saw two gays holding hands on a street in Göteborg. No doubt, for me, a schoolgirl, it was an extremely attractive phenomenon. I remember it was simply shocking, however not objectionable at all. It was a completely new occurrence to me, as in Poland I had never had the chance to see two men in love holding hands. And then, on this Göteborg street I seemed less normal that they did (I stopped and stood there with my mouth open). I also remember that I wondered when such time would come in Poland, when I would see a couple of gays or lesbians expressing their feeling publicly. And now I am beginning to feel like 11 years ago in Sweden. Fortunately, my later journeys to the countries of Western Europe have not shocked me anymore. On the contrary, in 2003 I took part in Christopher Street Day in Berlin, rode a float of FDP and all the people, regardless of their political and sexual orientation, were enjoying themselves. Because that is also the reason of organising a parade – not only to manifest something, but also to unite people. However, the process of familiarising with something new must be gradual to avoid raising needless emotions. And I remember what emotions the equality parade in 2005 created in Poznan – along with a few arrests. Today, if such a parade is to take place, it will simply take place without the needless emotions.

I understand the attitude of those who support the “traditional” family model. Nevertheless, they need to acknowledge that nowadays there is more than the one family model, which into the traditional one – mother, father, children, and all formed in the majesty of law or in the face of God. Today we are faced with a cohabitation, which just a decade ago was considered much more abnormal than today, with monoparentality (who still uses the word “bastard” meaning  a child?), singles (we rarely speak of spinsters and old bachelors). Though the listed relations do not spread controversy, homosexuality does. But it seems to me that our society is becoming more and more open and it accepts various types of human relations. Of course, there will always be groups that want to raise political capital by explicitly opposing or supporting homosexual relations. But we must wait some more till our society will be able to accept that a heterosexual relation is just one of the forms of living together.

The Saturday’s parade proved that we are becoming a more open society as there was nothing to comment. And this is what normality is about.

Translated by A. Kumycz

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About Daria Hejwosz

Phd at educational studies faculty on Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan/Poland. She writes mainly about higher education

Fredrich Naumann Foundation For The Freedom
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