In the midst of the coverage about Anders Breivik’s murderous spree on Utoya is story of bravery, one that has gone under-reported in mainstream media.
Hege Dalin and her spouse Toril Hansen, a legally married lesbian couple, rescued 40 children who had jumped in the lake to escape Breivik’s rampage. Hearing the shots andscreams, the couple revved up their boat and scooped up children from the bloody water, returning to the island four times, despite bullet holes in the side of the boat. They saved 40 children.
Talk About Equality quotes the women’s story in Helsinki’s largest daily newspaper, Helsingin Sanoma
We were eating. Then shooting and then the awful screaming. We saw how the young people ran in panic into the lake.
In the aftermath, the couple said:
We did not sleep last night at all. Today, we have been together and talked about the events.
Now it’s time for all of us to talk about the bravery of a couple who repeatedly chose to risk their lives to save 40 children, a couple who have been seemingly overlooked, perhaps because they don’t fit into the comfortable stereotypes of heroes. Perhaps because they are lesbian and married.
I hope that’s not the case, because it would suck if the media is that narrow minded and fearful of celebrating true heroism.
Thank you, Hege and Toril. Thank you. And thank you, Norway for legalizing gay marriage in 2009.