Thousands attend Stockholm Pride

gay flagAn estimated 60,000 people took part in Stockholm’s gay pride festival last Saturday, which saw thousands of spectators line the streets of the Swedish capital to watch the parade. The event started at 1pm with participants marching from the central area of Medborgarplatsen. The colourful parade also included as many as 115 floats.

With Sweden experiencing its hottest weekend of the year, crowd congestion was an issue in the Gotgatan area. Many of those taking part in the parade held banners and wore t-shirts protesting about the winter Olympics in Russia next year. The reports that one participant, Britta Tegby, said Swedish Olympic athletes should do something about Russia’s anti-gay laws as the country should not be treating people in such a way.

Another attendee, Christer Rikenburg, also condemned Russia but said a boycott might be a step too far. She noted that Sweden has progressed a long way but many other countries in the world have taken backward steps. She said the initial reaction is that a boycott should take place, but then you realise there must be another way to influence the situation rather than not turning up.

The Green Party’s Gustav Fridolin toured the city on one float, while there was also a Swedish Defence Forces representation. The Defence Forces’ commander in chief Sverker Göranson said he wanted to show his support for gay people across the world. He added that although the situation in Sweden is relatively good, they need to show solidarity with other countries’ LGBTQ movements.