A person in front of a Pride flag

Pride is a protest, be loud about it!

In June, in honor of International Pride Month, the streets are once again filled with rainbows and joyful celebration. However, Pride is much more than a colorful celebration of love. It is a reminder that equality belongs to everyone, regardless of gender, gender expression, or sexuality. It encourages us to celebrate diversity and fight for equality. Pride is a protest.

The work for equality and fairness is still a long way from being finished. Now more than ever, we need permanent changes in attitudes, rather than just one week of celebration. Sexual and gender minorities face daily threats of violence, discussions in government negotiations contemplate restricting abortion rights, and harmful conversion therapies are still legal. Finland is not yet an entirely equal country.

Equality took a huge leap forward with the self-determination of gender minorities when the so-called Trans Law was approved. No longer is infertility or a lengthy medical diagnosis required. It is an absolute improvement for non-discrimination. Finally, adults have the right to affirm their gender in accordance with human rights norms. However, the new law disregards a significant portion of gender diversity. Gender affirmation requires being an adult, and there are only two options available. This leaves out children, youth, and non-binary individuals. It is important to recognize that gender is not binary, and legislation should better reflect this.

Love and slogans are not enough; we need actions. We must create a world where there is space and opportunities for all voices, experiences, and identities. Everyone deserves to feel safe and be recognized as their true selves. Equal human rights belong to everyone and are achieved through collaboration. Remember, together we are stronger. Let us be proud of ourselves, of each other, and of our ability to bring about change.

Vaasa Pride Parade and Park Piknik will take place this Saturday, June 17th. I invite all of you to join in the celebration and support Pride. Participate in events throughout the year, express your solidarity, and learn more about the experiences of sexual and gender minorities. Listen to and respect their stories, for it is through them that we can learn and grow as a community. March, shout, love!


Laura Koivisto
Board member responsible for social affairs 2023
The Student Union of the University of Vaasa