Etusivu / Queer History Shines in the Light of a State Award 

Queer History Shines in the Light of a State Award 

Iloisia Sateenkaarihistorian ystävät ry:n yhdistysaktiiveja valtionpalkinnon kanssa.

Free to publish June 4, 2024

Today, the esteemed state award for information publication was granted to the Friends of Queer History Association. With the prize money, the association continues to increase the accessibility and awareness of queer history.

‘The significance of the award for domestic queer history is enormous,’ rejoices Kaura Raudaskoski, the chairperson of the association. ‘People may not necessarily have knowledge of their community’s multifaceted history in Finland. Queer history is everyone’s common history.’ The prize money and the publicity brought by the award directly help the association in increasing the availability of information.

There is a great need for information about queer history

‘Highlighting one’s own history is particularly important for communities who have been discriminated against and persecuted due to lack of knowledge. The association’s informative website, in Finnish, Swedish and English is user-friendly and provides access to rich content. It offers articles popularising research in the form of an online magazine and provides guidance and advice on collecting and presenting information and cultural heritage in the field,’ was stated by the Ministry of Science and Culture in the rationale of the award.

In a nutshell, queer history means the history of diversity in gender and sexuality. In the study of queer history, attention is directed to the prevailing conventional norms and various efforts to maintain them, but above all to overcoming norms and the consequences of overcoming them. 

‘During the existence of the association, it has become clear how great the need for local historical queer history in Finland really is,’ says the first chairperson of the association, docent Tuula Juvonen. During the short history of the association, information has accumulated rapidly and organically in cooperation with queer communities, researchers, activists, and memory organizations. ‘In addition to locality, it is important to take into account the diversity and intersectionality of queer history. Queer history looks different depending on class, ethnicity, language, or disability,’ says Rita Paqvalén, a founding member and board member of the association.

Making local queer history visible in various ways

The Friends of Queer History Association supports, promotes, and practices queer history research and influences the promotion of research, history recording, and presentation. In addition, the association teaches and consults on queer history questions and maintains the website, organizes discussion events, seminars, and other events. The Friends of Queer History Association also coordinates Queer History Month, which has been celebrated since 2018. Both the association and the Queer History Month were born out of the cooperation of the Culture for All Service and Seta, as well as the Labour Archives and the Finnish Labour Museum Werstas, and individual researchers and activists. In Finland, the responsibility for collecting queer history is with The Labor Archives and The Finnish Labour Museum Werstas.

The association has compiled a large amount of research information on its website and made access to information easier for researchers, students, hobbyists, media, and especially the queer community itself. The site has an active event calendar, where memory organizations such as libraries, archives, and museums, as well as other actors, can announce events related to queer history. The association publishes information in Finnish, Swedish, and English, and if possible, also in Finnish sign language.

A large number of people have participated in writing and editing articles for the online magazine, and both the timeline maintained by the association and the articles in the online magazine interest an equally larger readership.The Friends of Queer History wants to continue to cooperate with familiar communities and new acquaintances in the future, as a lively community has emerged around historical information in a short time. 

Further information

Chairperson Kaura Raudaskoski (they/them)
+358 45 783 17571

Board member, docent Tuula Juvonen (Chairperson 2020–2024)
+358 50 318 6105 

Board member Rita Paqvalén (Swedish-speaking contact person)
+358 40 741 3363