Before the Gay Galla in Oslo I had a meeting set up with a couple of transsexual people so I could learn as much as possible about their community in Oslo.
What a lovely warm welcome I received from Christian Jasmine Karud-Lund and Ingrid Frivold. After we met I described to them what Mr Gay Europe is all about, my Pride Families Campaign and what I’d like to achieve from my meeting with them.
Christian Jasmine really opened up to me. She is a 40 year old guy, has 3 children and is married. She was telling me the children thought he was a cool dad being trans. This just automatically told me how well Christian Jasmine is bringing up the children, by teaching them of different diversities within the community.
My penis has been around for 40 years, it can stay there the rest of my life.
I wanted to know when she knew that she wanted to transition to a woman. She said in his teens he knew he was different then started to dress as a female in his twenties. She dresses half the time as a male and the other half as a female. Her goal is to take the hormonal pills but not go as far as the full operation.
“My penis has been around for 40 years, it can stay there the rest of my life. I am lucky I am not one of those who feels disgusted by their own genitals, being trans is much more than just what meets the eye”.
I related with Christian Jasmine when you know something isn’t right; being a gay guy I knew at an early age I felt different but didn’t understand what I was until later in my teens. I felt for her as it’s hard to know who to talk to, but like what she said once she formed friends within the community she felt comfortable being who she was.
One of my questions was very personal, but myself I always wanted to know and she did say I could ask anything. I was always confused on the sexuality of a trans person as I assumed trans was gay, but that’s my lack of education. She said sexuality and gender are totally different and it’s down to the specific individual where some fancy men and others fancy women.
I also wondered about something that is related to my campaign, I wanted to know if a trans person could adopt children and she replied that they couldn’t. Even being gay there are a lot of obstacles to confront and it’s not as easy as when you are straight.
This surprised me as I thought Scandinavia is up there with their liberal laws, but in actuality they haven’t caught up with the UK yet. Within the United Kingdom it doesn’t matter what your gender, sexuality, race or if you’re single; you can adopt a child. This is something I’m very proud of.
Christian Jasmine was telling me she has a gay couple as friends that have been waiting for years to adopt a child, but have given up and now have applied in Canada to have a child with a surrogate mother.
Living in Brighton, it’s a very safe city and you can be who you want to be and you’re accepted. I can hold my boyfriend’s hand, kiss him in public and no one will care. So I wanted to know what it’s like growing up and living in Oslo within the trans community. Both Christian Jasmine and Ingrid said they felt safe. It is a liberal city and they both felt they could be who they wanted to be and live the life they choose. This was fantastic news.
I knew a amendment to the Norwegian criminal code is about to come into place in Norway too, and I met up with the politician the day before who initiated it; if a hate crime happens in Norway and it was because of your sexuality or gender then extra years are added to your sentence. This, I think, is great news!
I want to be the best ambassador I possibly can be so I need to learn from all communities and cultures.
So my meeting came to an end and one question kinda stuck with me; you’re Mr Gay Europe so why did you want to meet with trans people?
Well being Mr Gay Europe I feel I represent all the community whether you’re gay, lesbian or trans. I want to be the best ambassador I possibly can be so I need to learn from all communities and cultures. I then can get my voice heard, through social media, newspapers, radio and so on. What I learn I can take on to other European cities on my tour this year. I can’t change laws but I can create visibility and highlight countries that don’t have the same LGBT rights as we do in the United Kingdom.