Former Minister of Education comes to Skellefteå to give a lecture during Pride week

Since 2014, Skellefteå municipality has invited to a lunch seminar in connection with the RFSL Pride week. This time it is time for Lina Axelsson Kihlblom, who became the first transsexual person in Sweden's government when she took office in 2021, to give a lecture.

-It will be a story about a giant journey on a personal level that also reflects society, she says.

She has a background as a lawyer and after training as a headmaster and school leader, she became headmaster at Ronnaskolan in Södertälje in 2011, where she worked for three years. She then appeared in the Utbildningsradion TV series Rektorerna, where she made a name for herself by turning around the school's poor results and significantly improving pupils' grades, earning her the nickname "Superrektorn".

- I don't lecture much now. In the past, I've lectured a lot about schools and education - this lecture will be in a slightly different genre. When I get an assignment, I often get a sense of what I'm going to talk about. This time, I want to tell a story of going from being very angry and sad - to now being happy and proud of where you've got to," she says, continuing.

- It's a journey that's very much about identity and shame. Living in a society where you live with a big secret.

The lecture will also be about her leadership.

- When you've been in a bad place and then it turns out you've done something good, there's a kind of feeling that 'whatever I face, I'll fix it'. A certain kind of stubbornness can be reflected in leadership. But with a vision that often includes a form of change, you can achieve something very good and I take that with me.

During her time in government, she doesn't feel she stood out. And she has previously stated that her message is that she is "the new normal".

- There was no difference from others. I never had trolls after me. My orientation was never something that was pointed out and never a question that was on my table to answer. At the same time, I always tried to be simple and downplayed in my appearance. I feel that I never had to play on femininity. I may not have come across as a dry person - but it was never something I wanted to convey.

She also thinks you should be careful about categorising people. Something she will also emphasise in her lecture.

- No person is just a phenomenon, like a gay person, or a trans person. All people have sub-personalities. That's why we have to be careful about categorising. I myself am more angry that I was born with dyslexia and a bad memory than that I was born in a boy's body. People are so keen to package people and say that someone is strong or weak. But strong people can also have weaknesses.


More about Lina Axelsson Kihlblom

  • Swedish Minister of Education between 30 November 2021-18 October 2022.
  • In autumn 2015, she made her authorial debut with the book Kommer du tycka om mig nu? in which she explains that she was born with a male body and underwent gender reassignment surgery. In conjunction with her debut as an author, she appeared on SVT's Skavlan, where she spoke about her experiences. She is the author of two more books, Våga leda skolan - med sikte på framtiden (2016) and Ingen vet egentligen vem jag är (2019).
  • In September 2015, the documentary Rektorn med Lina Axelsson Kihlblom was broadcast on UR. It is about her change work at the famous, and at that time problematic, Ronnaskolan in Södertälje. During her three years at the school, the secondary school admission rate was raised from 55% to 75%. The documentary is a follow-up to the documentary series Rektorerna, which aired on SVT in 2011.
  • In 2014, Dagens Samhälle magazine named her one of the 50 most powerful people in schools in Sweden.
  • In 2016, she received the Book of the Year award at the QX Gay Gala. That same year, she participated in the interview programme Min sanning on SVT.

Lina Axelsson Kihlblom: From sad that it was the way it was - to happy that it is the way it is

Place: Scandic Hotel, Skellefteå, Sirius

Date: Friday 17 February 2023

11.45-12.15 Lunch in the room.

12.15-13.00 Lecture and live stream starts.


Senast uppdaterad:
2 March 2023