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Erika Strand-Berglund – Kvinnor som älskar bögar och bögar som älskar kvinnor

Posted in Book reviews, and Non-fiction

Since my teenage years, there were always some gays and bisexuals in my life. Some are my close friends, some only acquaintances, but once I’ve found myself in such position, I couldn’t ignore the fact, how many misconseptions about such relationships are out there. It’s like people are always looking for some hidden, spicy/degrading meaning behind it all. Why?! Kvinnor som älskar bögar och bögar som älskar kvinnor tries to find out, tries to reach to our history and does show how our current society is still confused.

Kvinnor som älskar bögar och bögar som älskar kvinnor is a mix of interviews, personal experiences, memories, all that with a touch of facts regarding friendship between gays and straight females. It describes the way they influence and complement each other. What an interesting theme! Unfortunately, we will be more likely to read sad stories about gays going through breakups, misunderstandings by their close relatives etc., than about loving and prospering relationships, where sexual orientation (and/or gender identity) doesn’t matter. This book proves such connections do exist, and I can personally swear by it too. But I never knew the term fag hag, and thanks to this book I have again expanded my knowledge (not only). Not sure if I can consider myself as a fag hag, but as a LGBTQIA ally 100 %, no doubt in there.

I wish Erika would dedicate a greater part of the book to the history of fag hags, although it could simply be a different book. Not to mention the difficulty of finding historically accurate information. You name it – in times when homosexuality was labeled as a mental illness and was often outlawed, there were more closeted homosexuals than nowadays. And they had friends whose silly talk could lead to an arrest, or worse. Therefore, it is logically impossible to trace fag hag’s history much far, but at least Kvinnor som älskar bögar och bögar som älskar kvinnor will be, later on, considered as a useful tool for understanding how things were in our times.

And there was another important thing for me. Although sometimes I feel like I must be the only one, who reads books usually until the last page, e.g. goes through content and acknowledgements, I keep doing that. Not that I’m searching for my name in there, but somehow I consider it as my reader responsibility. Sounds strange? Maybe so. In any way, this time in the acknowledgement part I came across a familiar name: Katarina Wennstam. And she is author’s friend! Two years ago, I read two books by Katarina Wennstam, both non-fictions about another important topic – rape and victim blaming. After all this time, I still consider them as probably the most disturbing books of my readership. But even so, if you happen to stumble across her name in the library/bookshop, don’t hesitate. She is the voice of the silenced ones.

As a visual being, I must admit I don’t fancy book’s cover and almost put the book back into the shelf as soon as I picked it up. It recalls so much some chick-lit! But as I’m learning to overcome my usual approach of judging a book by its cover, I took it home and read it almost within one afternoon. Not bad. huh? 🙂

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