Westsura Manor in Surahammar is now one of the first asylum homes to be LGBTQ-certified. It now has gender-neutral bathrooms and “norm-critical” furnishing. Some asylum seekers from third world countries such as Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq weren’t entirely pleased with the taxpayer-funded initative.
“The rainbow flag has swayed on Westsura Manors courtyard in Surahammer ever since the inaugural ceremony on the 30th of May, when personell and residents celebrated the LGBTQ-certification”, writes the Migration Bureau on their website.
The certification entails that all employees at the asylum home have undergone a taxpayer-funded education via the sex lobby organisation RFSL. Mari Anne Helgesdotter, who co-ordinated the LGBTQ-certification of Westsura Manor, states that she amongst other things has made the toilets gender-neutral.
“The first thing we did was to remove the female- and male signs on the toilets. They are just ridiculous. Why do we need them?” – says Mari Anne Helgesdotter
To top things off a “norm-critical approach” has been used during the interior design so that the personell won’t “get stuck in conceptions of male and feminine colors and what is considered customary.”
Previously the asylum homes sauna was open for men and women. But now those who wan’t to go the sauna alone have the possibility to do that. It’s important to be open and find new solutions, according to Marie Ann Helgesdotter.
“If we get an opportunity to do the changing rooms then we will absolutely take a look at how they can be formed so that everyone can feel comfortable”, she says
“The rainbow flag was raised to applause during the inaugural ceremony. But it wasn’t welcomed by everyone”, according to the Migration Bureau’s website.
An LGBTQ-cerficiation for a group of 25 people costs around 100,000 kronor (12,193 USD) according to RFSL.
“Abt Surahammar is a asylum housing where we work for a respectful treatment of residents and staff. Everyone should be able to feel safe regardless of background and sexual orientation.” – on the cards worn by employees