home
arts
literature
social sciences
special features
discussion
about glbtq
   search

 
   Encyclopedia
   Discussion
 
 
 
 
Advertising Opportunities
Press Kit
Research Guide
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
Copyright
 
site guide
search tips
research guide
editors & contributors
contact us
send feedback
write the editor
 
 
 
 
subscribe
Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter to receive a spotlight on glbtq culture every month.
e-mail address:
 
 
 
  unsubscribe
 
 
Popular Topics in Literature
García Lorca, Federico García Lorca, Federico
The works of García Lorca, internationally recognized as Spain's most prominent lyric poet and dramatist of the twentieth century, are filled with thinly veiled homosexual motifs and themes.
 
Musical Theater
There has always been homosexual involvement in American musical theatre and a homosexual sensibility even in straight musicals, and recently the Broadway musical has welcomed openly homosexual themes and situations.
 
Michelangelo Buonarroti Michelangelo Buonarroti
Best known for his genius in art and architecture, Michelangelo was also an accomplished author of homoerotic poetry.
 
African-American Literature: Gay Male African-American Literature: Gay Male
The African-American gay male literary tradition consists of a substantial body of texts and includes some of the most gifted writers of the twentieth century.
 
Camp Camp
Combining elements of incongruity, theatricality, and exaggeration, camp is a form of humor that helps homosexuals cope with a hostile environment.
 
Hughes, Langston Hughes, Langston
Langston Hughes, whose literary legacy is enormous and varied, was closeted, but homosexuality was an important influence on his literary imagination, and many of his poems may be read as gay texts.
 
Baldwin, James Arthur Baldwin, James Arthur
James Baldwin, a pioneering figure in twentieth-century literature, wrote sustained and articulate challenges to American racism and mandatory heterosexuality.
 
Wilde, Oscar Wilde, Oscar
Oscar Wilde is important both as an accomplished writer and as a symbolic figure who exemplified a way of being homosexual at a pivotal moment in the emergence of gay consciousness.
 
Topics In the News
 
Openly Gay Candidate Defeated in Finnish Presidential Election
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 02/05/12
Last updated on: 02/06/12
 
Bookmark and Share


Pekka Haavisto (right) with partner Antonio Flores in a 2010 television interview (YouTube video still).

Openly gay Green League candidate Pekka Haavisto was defeated for the presidency of Finland in the run-off election on February 5, 2012. Sauli Niinistö of the moderate-right National Coalition Party won with 63% of the votes cast. He will become the first president from a conservative party since 1956 and the first in 30 years from a party other than the center-left Social Democratic Party. He succeeds Tarja Halonen, Finland's first female head of state, who defeated him in the presidential election six years ago.

Haavisto, who was the first Green League member of a European cabinet, worked for the United Nations from 1999 to 2005, principally on environmental issues. He and Niinistö differed little on the issues since both are pro-European Union and both are committed to Finland's constructive participation in helping solve Europe's financial woes.

In true Finnish fashion, the campaign was civil, with both candidates polite and non-confrontational. The two men come from similar affluent backgrounds and share a commitment to gentlemanly conduct.

Haavisto's homosexuality was not raised as an issue in the campaign, but some observers characterized it as "the elephant in the room." It is believed that older voters saw it as a barrier, particularly since the election of Haavisto would have made his young partner, Nexar Antonio Flores, an Ecuadorean immigrant and hair dresser, the President's official consort.

Haavisto, 53, and Flores, 33, have been a couple since 1997, when they met in a gay bar in Bogota, Colombia. After a whirlwind romance featuring a great deal of transAtlantic travel, the men soon plighted a union. They were among the first Finns joined in a registered partnership when they became available in 2002.

Haavisto drew most of his support from younger, urban voters. His campaign relied heavily on social media and utilized rock concerts and flash mobs to raise both money and enthusiasm for his candidacy. Haavisto was widely regarded, even by supporters of his rival, as the more modern and open of the candidates.

Interestingly, the biggest contrast in the campaign came not in the representation of the candidates but in the characterizations of their life partners. A popular magazine profiled the partners of the candidates: its profile of Niinistö's wife, Jenni Haukio, was headlined "Livelier Than Most People Think", while its profile of Haavisto's partner was headlined "Antonio Flores--Irresistible Charmer".

Flores became a favorite topic for tabloids, who honed in on an Ecuadorian arrest for driving under the influence and for an incident in a Helsinki gay bar five years ago, but even the most mainstream of news media seemed fascinated by the romantic story of the courtship of Flores and Haavisto.

One analyst concluded that "Flores is Haavisto's weakest link, but possibly also his strongest asset."

In his victory speech, Niinistö promised to be president of all the Finns, while in conceding defeat Haavisto pledged his support to the new president.

The president of Finland is head of state and has a large number of ceremonial duties, but is not involved in daily politics. He or she has limited powers in domestic affairs but helps shape foreign affairs and is commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

 
Related Encyclopedia Entries
 
browse:   arts   literature   social-sciences   discussion boards
 
learn more about glbtq       contact us       advertise on glbtq.com
 
Bookmark and Share

glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2014, glbtq, Inc.

Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.