Are Norrhava is the sweetest guy from Sweden that’s an activist, a published author, a pastor and also openly gay.
Tell us how it is to be both gay and a Christian in Sweden? - I consider my sexuality a blessing. There have always been queer people in the church, and my generation in Sweden are harvesting the fruits of brave and unapologetic people before us. I’m happy to live in a time and place where we can be open and free.
What obstacles have you encountered?
- Honestly, the love and support that I’ve received in my church has been much stronger than any obstacles. The few cases of homophobia that I’ve experienced from fellow Christians has only made me more determined to be open and visible.
This is supposed to be the religion of love and liberation, not fear.
What are your hopes for the future?
- I’m well aware that the church historically has failed the gay community. And that is still going on all over the world. At the same time, a lot of positive change is happening right now. I hope that the churches globally will come to realize how much wisdom and spirituality the queer community has to offer our world.
RuPaul is one shining example of authentic spiritual leadership in our time.
He speaks from experience, with great insight and I consider him one of the fiercest public theologians right now. Drag Race has become a source of strength and courage for so many of us, even outside our community. It actually resembles the earliest church a lot, as it brings people together in a very real way, speaks truthfully about life and transforms pain and fear into beauty and hope. That’s what the church is supposed to be all about: love.
Tell us a bit about your book?
- It's called Djup tid och tunna ställen (Deep Time And Thin Places) and it is my tribute to this crazy/beautiful world and an intent to navigate it from the heart. I do believe it is the first Swedish book about spirituality and prayer where monks and tattoo-artists, mystics and peace activists intermingle as guides and teachers.
Tell us what your favorite travel destination has been and why?
- Bogotá in Colombia! I’ve never met as much sweetness and hospitality. And the gay community is so friendly there.
Where would you want to travel and why?
- I would like to see more of Latin America and the Caribbean. I love salsa, bachata and reggaeton music.
Your three favorite gay friendly spots in your city?
- My favorite bar in Stockholm is Babylon. And the gay bar Side Track has a friendly atmosphere. Drop Coffee, across the street, is a nice place for some “fika”.
Dearest Are, we look forward to reading your book and follow you in your spiritual journey. Thank you for talking to us!
/STELIOS VASILANTONAKIS, CO-FOUNDER