Greetings from the Secretary-General, UNICEF – Norway

“Gay Kids – Gay People Were Young Once Too” is a book for children attending elementary and secondary schools and the first of its kind in Norway to address love between persons of the same sex. Adults may find it difficult or even embarrassing to talk about love between women or love between men to children and teenagers. Teachers often avoid gay issues at school. Most children and teenagers are therefore quite ignorant concerning what it means to be a gay man or a lesbian woman. Without proper educational support, they are left to their own resources – scrambling together whatever they find of information about the LGBT-minority from peers or the social medias.

“Gay Kids – Gay People Were Young Once Too” provides an excellent tool to counteract the above-mentioned challenges. The artistic approach makes kids talk and help them to make sense of lesbian and gay related issues in an age-appropriate way. According to UN Convention on the rights of the Child, Chapter 17, “society shall ensure the child has access to information, and especially information which creates understanding, social skills, moral and spiritual well-being and mental and physical health.” Whether gay or straight – when children hit puberty – they have a right to be prepared for the facts of adult life.

Belonging to a community is of importance to us all – but especially important for children and adolescents. Therefore constructing communities with room for tolerance and diversity – including diversity in sexual orientation and family forms – is of the uttermost importance. The basis for an inclusive and tolerant society is founded in the formative years of its citizens. According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, all children have a right to protection, including children and adolescents for whom falling in love is quite similar but somewhat different from the majority of the population.  I am so pleased with the Gay Kids project. The book is a most valuable contribution to children’s wellbeing and upbringing and to a Norwegian society appreciative of the true virtue of love between women and love between men.

Kjersti Fløgstad

 Secretary-General, UNICEF – Norway


“The Recruiter”

The Norwegian British artist Lill-Ann Chepstow-Lusty is currently travelling to a village, town or a city possibly near you, collecting childhood photographs. In this picture she is recruiting Gay Kids photos at the Chaps conference in Bristol earlier this year. If you have any questions, or if your want to contribute with childhood photograph to the project (you can be anonymous), please contact Magnus or Lill-Ann.

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Wrapping up Eastern Norway – heading north

Gay Kids Norway is in the finishing stages of a six month long exhibition at Akershus museum in Strømmen, outside of Oslo. Here you can see pictures from the opening night where the Mayor of Skedsmo county Ole Jacob Flæten, the director of the museum Roger Seemann Erlandsen and the director of Arts Council Norway and Gay Kid Anne Aasheim opened the exhibition. The next stop for Gay Kids is Hammerfest – the northernmost town in world.