The LGBTQ community in Finland has a long history associated with it. Although the social stigma often associated with homosexuality in other countries has been less evident in Finnish society, it has taken some time for LGBTQ rights to be enshrined in legislation. Today, those rights are widely available in all areas of life.
One of the reasons for the reticence to embrace homosexuality in legislation has been the shared history with its ant-gay neighbour, Russia, and that country's efforts to influence internal Finnish politics. As time moved forward, the distance between the two countries on LGBTQ policy, in both legislation and practice, has become polar opposites.
Regardless, LGBTQ individuals have long been represented openly in Finnish politics, ever since the lesbian Hilda Maria Kakikoski became one of the first women, and the first LGBTQ individual, to be elected to parliament in 1906. Today, there are three LGBTQ individuals present and active in the national parliament.
Coincidentally, these politicians are very involved in the environmental movement of their country as members of the Green Party. This group is led by Pekka Haavisto, who is the government minister for the environment - he was voted the fifth most influential Finnish individual alive today.
There is a particularly rich history of prominent lesbian writers and poets in the country. Many of these individuals became trend-setters of style and prose for the Nordic region itself.
Finland is one of the most accepting countries in the world today for its LGBTQ citizens. Homosexual activity has been legal since 1971, and there is today full protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation. Same-sex marriage was approved by Parliament in 2014. Many towns and cities within the country celebrate the community with Pride events.
Read the fascinating biographies of these prominent LGBTQ individuals:
- Knut Magnus Enckell, painter
- Vivica Bandler-von Frenckell, theatre producer and director
- Pekka Haavisto, politician
- Lucina Hagman, politician, educator, and feminist
- Jorma Hentila, politics and activist
- Virva Hepolampi, academic and activist
- Pirjo Honkasalo, film director
- Raimo Jaaskelainen, fashion and entertainment
- Tove Marika Jansson, writer
- Tuula Juvonen, academic
- Hilda Maria Kakikoski, politician and writer
- Christer Kihlman, writer
- Sauli Koskinen, television host
- Pekka Lehto, film director
- Jukka Lehtonen, academic
- Tiina Lindfors, dancer and choreographer
- Ari-Pekka Liukkonen, swimmer
- Silvia Modig, politician and radio host
- Anna Moring, activist
- Kati Mustola, academic
- Martti Nissinen, theologian and academic
- Hagar Olsson, writer
- Jorma Uotinen, dancer and singer
- Reijo Paananen, politician
- Roh Petas, environmental activist
- Kristiina Puukko, activist and actor
- Mirkka Elina Rekola, poet
- Markku Rossi, Member of Parliament
- Pirkko Helena Saisio, writer
- Edith Irene Sodergran, poet
- Jani Toivola, politician and actor
- Tom of Finland, artist
- Oras Tynkkynen, politician
- Edward Westermarck, academic - sociology and anthropology
- Adolf Fredrik Wetterhoff, lawyer