Last weekend I went to Stockholm Pride festival. The main goal was the parade on Saturday but it takes quite a lot of time to go there from Helsinki by boat. So I took it as a hotel night with some drinks dance shows and some dancing also done by myself. The only not so nice thing was I couldn’t sleep well that night.
Saturday morning I got to Stockholm city and found my hotel – just to notice it was too early to go to my room. So I had to leave my luggage there and try to get everything I possibly could need during the day. Luckily I had taken quite large handbag so it was not too difficult to do it.
Then I went to the park where the start of the parade took place. I found my Swedish friends partly by accident so I could chat with them before. Actually we had a lot of time - the parade was quite slow to get moving.
Compared to Helsinki Pride parade it was much bigger. There were about 50 000 people marching and about 500 000 people watching. And again opposite to Helsinki Pride they were not just watching. The audience cheered and waved at us they popped in to take pictures with us, and some wanted to shake hands with us. I was really feeling there are so many and so many kinds of people supporting GLBTI rights in Sweden, old and young, men and women basic “Svenssons” and immigrant based…..
Well, there are different kinds of people in Sweden though. The right-wing extremist had their counter demonstration somewhere near the parade and Police was very alert to stop them to attack the parade. Anyway nothing happened fortunately. And it was evident that Stockholm Police is the “good one”, they even had a separate gay police department in parade!
I didn’t stay long in the festival area after the parade. I was quite tired after no so well slept night so I just had some supper and went to hotel. On Sunday I had some time to do some shopping in Stockholm city but I didn’t really find the things I was looking for. And in the afternoon I took a tube to ferry harbor and started my trip back home. This time my feet were aching so much after two days of walking in Stockholm, so I even skipped my dancing routines.