Homotolerance and heterosexuality as Norwegian values

Case Studies & Research
20 p.
Periodical title
Journal of LGBT Youth, 7 (2), 147-166

In recent years, equality between homosexual and heterosexual relationships has increasingly been presented as a marker for Norwegian values. Norwegian schooling encourages tolerance toward homosexuals, and the state shows active interest in counteracting bullying against LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) youth by supporting research and prevention programs. Recent studies concerning LGBT youth in Norway do indicate, however, that young Norwegians in general find it difficult to imagine themselves living a nonheterosexual life. Suicide is still considered a "reasonable" reaction to having to face a future as a homosexual. How can this be understood? Our analyses of teaching and textbooks in Norwegian schools points to three approaches to understanding young peoples' reluctance to imagining themselves as nonheterosexual: the double message of homotolerance, the selfevidence of heterosexuality, and the absence of nonheterosexual futurescapes.

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