LGBT Resources in Norway

Gay resource groups in Norway

A collection of information and welfare resources for LGBT+ people living in or visiting Norway.

Like their Nordic neighbours, Norwegians in general have a liberal attitude toward LGBT people. That said, newcomers to Norway – especially those fleeing countries with somewhat different attitudes – can require some support.

LGBT Equality in Norway

Norway was among the first countries to introduce anti-discrimination laws against LGBT people.

LGBT Resources for People in Norway

Today, gays and lesbians have the same rights as heterosexuals in church weddings, adoptions, and assisted pregnancies.

Many senior politicians have been openly gay or lesbian, and LGBT people are in general well integrated into society. For this reason, the gay scene is not especially large even in Oslo.

Although homophobic behavior can and does occur, gay and lesbian travelers should not expect to encounter any problems within Norway.

Gay Pride in Norway

As with almost all other European countries, Norway plays host to many different pride events, large and small.

The biggest and most well-known is Oslo Pride, but there are events in most of the other major cities. Read on to the individual city guides for more specific information on these festivals.

But Pride events are branching out! Oslo have recently begun a spin-off on a cruise ship, while Skeive Ski (Scandinavian Ski Pride) is an annual event held every February in one of Norway's best ski resorts. The next event will be held 12-15 March, 2020. More info at skeiveski.no

Norwegian LGBT services

National resources

There are a number of organisations run for the benefit of LGBT+ individuals throughout Norway. Most are based in Oslo but with a presence in other cities and regions.

FRI

Known by everyone as FRI, Foreningen for kjønns- og seksualitetsmangfold (Association for Gender and Sexuality Diversity) was established in 1950.

FRI works for equality and against discrimination of people who break the norms of gender and sexuality in Norway and in the rest of the world. There are eleven branches throughout the country. More info at foreningenfri.no

Skeiv Ungdom

Although the headquarters of nationwide LGBT youth group Skeiv Ungdom (Queer Youth) is in Oslo, the association branches throughout the country.

It is the youth organisation of FRI and is open to everyone under 30 who is gay, bisexual, lesbian, transexual, curious youth and those who support the organisation's work.

Gay & Lesbian Health Norway

An organisation that works to promote health and disease prevention for the sexual minorities of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals, as well as other women and men who have sex with people of the same gender.

Founded in 1983 in response to the HIV crisis, the group now promotes better sexual and psychological health among their target groups. More info at helseutvalget.no

HIV Norge

HivNorway is an independent, national organisation committed to safeguarding the rights of people affected by HIV and working to reduce the spread of HIV and AIDS.

LGBT+ individuals remain a high risk group for HIV/AIDS and the organisation offers individual counselling and guidance, particularly concerning rights in health care, social security and workplace matters. More info at hivnorge.no

The Centre for Equality

Likestillingssenteret (The Centre for Equality) is an inter-disciplinary centre that works to address gender-based equality issues. They also work with a broad definition of equality that includes most potential reasons for discrimination: ethnicity, sexual orientation and disabilities.

KUN

A training centre offering knowledge about gender equality and the importance of diversity in social development. Read more at kun.no

Transgender Association

Norway's FTPN (Transgender Association) has two missions: Firstly, to act as a powerful organisation to work with political parties, public authorities and private enterprises to improve the way society cares for transgender as a group, and secondly, to contribute to personal development for transgender individuals.

The Stensveen Foundation

The Stensveen Foundation offers a variety of services for the Federation for Transgender People in Norway. Their mission is to help people with gender identity themes through a difficult transition phase in their life and contribute to a more diverse, inclusive and tolerant society.

Oslo Region

Norway's capital Oslo has the most visible LGBT+ community in the country. That said, the number of specific gay/lesbian venues is small.

Oslo Pride

This ten-day festival in the Norwegian capital is the country's biggest celebration of queer love and diversity.

Oslo Gay Pride Parade

More than 80 volunteers help to plan the festivities, with a few hundred more taking part during the event itself.

Oslo Pride is split between three zones, named ‘Pride Park', ‘Pride House' and ‘Pride Art', where the street festival, debates, and art displays take place respectively.

The next event is scheduled for 14-23 June, 2019. More info at oslopride.no

Skeivt studentforum

SSF is a student association for all LGBT+ students based in the Oslo and Akershus region. They hold weekly meetups and events such as debates, music evenings, cinema trips and parties. More info on their Facebook page.

Oslo/Fusion Film Festival

The capital's annual film festival focusing on diversity, empowerment, equality, and human rights. More info at oslofusion.no

Centre for Gender Research

The Center for Gender Research (STK) is an independent research centre based at the University of Oslo.

Its main objective is to conduct interdisciplinary research, teaching and dissemination in gender research; to stimulate gender research at the University's other research units; to promote national, Nordic and international research cooperation; and to be an attractive meeting place for researchers from home and abroad.

More info at stk.uio.no

Pensioners' Federation Rainbow Network

The rainbow network of Pensjonistforbundet is designed as a network for many of today's retirees who lived much of their lives on the sidelines and lived through a time when homosexuality was against the law.

Bergen

In addition to the regional branches of FRI and Skeiv Ungdom, there are are a number of Bergen-specific events and resources.

Regnbuedagene

This celebration of love and diversity is the second biggest gay pride event after Oslo. Although Regnbuedagene literally translates as the Rainbow Days, the festival is officially known in English as Bergen Pride.

Photos from Bergen Pride
Photos from Bergen Pride

The 70 events making up the festival attract around 20,000 people. The next event is scheduled for 1-8 June, 2019. More info at bergenpride.no

Skeive Studenter

Bergen's Skeive Studenter (Queer Students) is a student group, social forum and a meeting place for LGBT+ for all higher education students in Bergen.

One of their most important roles is to provide a network and contact points for those who have not come out of the closet or who may not yet be completely confident in their own sexuality or gender identity. More info at skeivestudenter.no

Stavanger

In addition to the regional branches of FRI and Skeiv Ungdom, there are are a number of events and resources specific to Stavanger and the wider Rogaland region.

Stavanger på skeivå

Twenty years young, Stavanger på skeivå is southwest Norway's principal festival for promoting local and international solidarity, openness, inclusion and diversity.

The team's creativity has put the event and the city on the map several times, not least when their soda brand ‘Homo Light' hit the headlines.

More info at skeiva.no

Trondheim

Trondheim is home to the regional branches of FRI and Skeiv Ungdom that cover central Norway, but there are also a number of events and resources specific to the city.

Trondheim Pride

Established in 1997 by FRI Midt-Norge, central Norway's Pride event features debates, social gatherings, concerts, parties and a parade through the streets of Trondheim.

Trondheim Pride Parade
Trondheim Pride (Photo: Torstein Olav Eriksen)

The next event is 6-15 September, 2019, with the parade taking place on 14 September. More info at trondheimpride.no

Queer Students Trondheim

Skeive Studenter Trondheim (Queer Students Trondheim) group for and by queer students in Trondheim, whether you are a new student, old student, or an exchange student. The group hosts regular events and gatherings. More info on their Facebook page.

Scandinavia and the Nordics

While we don't have space to include all resources in Sweden and Denmark, we have included a handful of the most relevant links to point you in the right direction.

RFSL: The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Rights.

LGBT Denmark: Founded in 1948, LGBT Denmark is the main Danish LGBT rights organisation.

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LGBT Resources in Norway: Welfare, health and support groups for gay and lesbian people living in Norway

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About the Author: David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a freelance writer for technology companies in Scandinavia.

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