Tag Archives: Lene Jeanette Dyngeland

A WHALE OF A PRIDE CELEBRATION: Mother Nature among those sending signs of blessings (again) as hundreds gather for Longyearbyen’s second LGBQT+ festival


Photo by Longyearbyen Mayor Arild Olsen before his speech Saturday at the town’s second Pride Festival

Say what you will about how “natural” the LGBQT+ presence is, but the world’s northernmost Pride Festival has seen Mother Nature offer what might be seen as her blessings during both of the gatherings to date.

RAINBOW CONNECTION: A priest, a governor, a mayor, teachers and kids show their colors in Svalbard’s first Pride parade – and everybody (plus nature and/or God) is totally cool with it


Lene Jeanette Dyngeland’s story is like plenty of others: she first visited Svalbard three years ago and cancelled her return ticket to her hometown of Bergen because she loved Longyearbyen enough to live here. But in an “open borders” community with residents from more than 50 countries her imported persona includes falling in love with any person regardless of their gender – and like everyone else’s distinctions it hasn’t really raised any eyebrows.

“I haven’t noticed anything here in Longyearbyen that discriminates by sexuality,” she told about 250 people gathering Saturday afternoon at the end of Longyearbyen’s first Pride parade, which she organized. “But we have to remember the world is a big place.”

Longyearbyen’s first Pride parade is happening soon. Is LGBT even an ‘issue’ for locals and outsiders in this unique place?


If a polar bear is charging, it seems unlikely even the most hardcore homophobe is going to care if the guide with the gun is gay.

In more everyday matters, nobody seems to bat an eye when gay couples hold hands sitting at cafes or walking down the street in Longyearbyen. There’s no known stories of people losing jobs/homes because of their sexuality. No known place people flock to for fast food because of its embrace of “traditional values.” Some outsiders even suggest “Santa Claus’s stomping grounds” offer “an eye-opening reverence for bisexuality.”

So why are local folks hosting the town’s first-ever Pride event, featuring a parade and evening of entertainment, shortly after the cruise ship season ends a few weeks from now?

Random weirdness for the week of April 10, 2018


The inside of an industrial building is the new fishing hot spot? A Stupid Criminal Trick involving a coat thief was foiled when he set an apartment on fire? Damn (by which we mean dammit why didn’t we get this first) The Official Local Paper Of Record Run-Of-The-Mill News got the scoop on some wild weirdness this week.