Election day is approaching and I have a terrible feeling. The far-right has become so normalised. They even have their ads on the trams and busses of the city. I can’t go anywhere without seeing the slogans and faces of politicians who want to take my rights away. And everywhere I overhear people having bigoted conversations like it’s the most normal thing in the world.
I don’t recognise this place anymore. Far-right ads used to be torn down by people almost as soon as they got up. I remember when Sweden was striving to be a progressive, open-minded place. We used to pride ourselves on that. Now people have become so cold-hearted. What the hell happened?
According to the polls, the far-right party the Sweden Democrats is the second most popular party. If only the other, more moderate right-wing parties did not work with them. But they are and if the right-wing get the majority of votes, the Sweden Democrats will be part of the government.
We are here talking about a party that was founded by neo-nazis and could still be seen as fascist; you just have to read between their lines. If SD entered the government, it would be a disaster for people of colour, POC immigrants, the working-class, women, LGBTQ people.
As a gay transman, I am terrified. We are talking about the only party who has voted against every single LGBTQ-positive reform and the only party who voted FOR the continued forced sterilisation of trans people.
They also want to make gender-affirming care illegal for anyone under the age of 25. This would lead to a great increase in suicide and dangerous self-medicating amoung young trans people. I strongly suspect the people in SD know this and that it’s exactly what they want: that less trans people survive past the age of 25.
I also suspect this would only be the beginning and that their aim is really to make gender-affirming care illegal for everyone regardless of age.
I hope and pray that the left wins the coming elections. People’s lives depend on it. But if they don’t, I have already made up my mind that I will leave Sweden and relocate to Denmark. There the far-right has greatly lost in popularity and the country is also way ahead of Sweden when it comes to trans rights. For one, they no longer classify being trans as a mental illness.
It might seems strange, but I am not sad at the idea of leaving my country. Mostly because I don’t believe I have one. To be anything other than cishet is to be someone whose neighbours might at any moment decide that you don’t deserve rights anymore. Queers have no country, we have only our community.