Last weekend Stockholm's week-long Pride celebrations culminated in the Stockholm Pride parade, attracting over 45,000 parade participants and an audience of half a million. In context, over a third of the city’s population of 1.5million people turned up to watch and support. The parade celebrates the week-long LGBT+ Pride Festival, hosted since 1998.At last weekend’s parade, Sweden’s Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven joined the revellers marching in the parade in the rainbow flag adorned city. The parade started in Jungsholmen with an array of 200 participating groups, from those on floats to walking parties marching the 4.5km route. Stockholm Pride is the largest Gay Pride event in Scandinavia. The organisation recently made news by releasing a free, unofficial mod for the video game, Grand Theft Auto. In the latest version of the game, GTA5 gives you a festive Pride parade taster on the virtual streets of Los Santos. The event also achieved an international voice by turning its focus Stateside in the wake of the horrendous shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. In the past, the organisation has been particularly vocal over the anti-gay administration in neighbouring Russia.
Stockholm Pride is an open, community-driven event for the people of the city and visitors alike. Its setting in the beautiful, waterside city of Stockholm means it draws LGBT+ people from near and far. Revellers were filled with even more pride as they walk past the Royal Palace and Gamla Stan the old town, where the parade stopped to lay a floral wreath at the statue of King Gustav III, who is commonly considered Sweden’s gay King. And yes, Stockholm’s queer history goes way back, from the gender-bending Queen Kristina in the 17th century, to when history was made in Sweden when being homosexual stopped being illegal as early as 1944. This cements Stockholm as the gay capital of Scandinavia and, quite possibly, the most gay-accepting capital city in the world.
Pride groupies from across the world have said that it is one of the best Pride festivals in the world because more than just a party. The event focuses on what it really means to be part of the gay community, from cultural and educational programmes to political and social debates – openly and bravely discussing everything from religion, to polyamourism, to BDSM and safety. In Pride Park, you really got to know what being gay and Swedish really means – joining the revellers dancing to everything from the Eurovision greats like Sergey Lazarev and Hovi Star – to the local music of choice, Eurovision-tastic Swedish “schlager". To give you a taster of what you missed, Gaydio DJ Alex Goldberg has compiled a Spotify playlist (another Swedish success story) featuring the Swedish acts that played at this year’s Pride festival.
Stockholm Pride aside, the Swedish capital is an amazing and welcoming place to visit at any time of year – combining amazing history, style, unadulterated luxury, a diverse foodie scene and beautiful people, in a walkable, rich and exciting city. For more information about gay and lesbian Stockholm, visit visitstockholm.com. For more inspiration on visiting LGBT+ Stockholm and the rest of Sweden, head to www.VisitSwedenLGBT.comYou can also follow the LGBT+ team at VisitSweden on social media on Facebook or Twitter and join the conversation with hashtag #SwedenYoureWelcome Pictures by Gabriel Dorch More stories: Gogglebox’s Stephen Webb talks wedding plans and why it’s all about the rings Joe Jonas reveals which brother is most well-endowed – WATCH