I’m pretty sure plenty of my fellow Republican Party members would not have been watching the Pride Parade on Saturday. But remember, I am a Swedish-American Republican who votes for John McCain and gay marriage rights. Basically I’m an enigma wrapped in a mystery. A hairy mystery, but a mystery none the less.
So, after an invitation from a friend who happens to live on the parade route, I headed over and watched the Pride Parade from the fourth floor of an apartment in Söder. And it was glorious.
I saw men. Women. Men dressed as women. More topless girls than a summer’s day at a hippie commune. And while all of this obviously caught my attention, there were a few floats that stood out.
Like the military section walking through town in full uniform. And not for any sort of protection. They were participants in the parade. A bit of a change from the Clinton policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and one that I quite appreciated. Of course, in a country that still has mandatory military service (for those called); it might be a bit harder to pull a stunt like that.
The coffin marched through the streets with people in all black and duct tape over their mouth in honor of those who fought for gay rights, or just those that died because they were gay. A pretty sobering start to the parade.
Finally, the “Proud Parents” float was impressive as well. Not necessarily because of the size, or even because of the theme but because of the lack of men. It seemed that the proud parents float was more of a proud mothers float. Whether this means the dad’s weren’t proud, weren’t comfortable showing their pride, or just had something else to do, I don’t know. But the lack of fathers was impressive.
Luckily, these moments of realization were speckled with some serious spectacles. Some very stereotypical. Like YMCA being played by at least three different floats. Or a few older men in leather chaps with their beer belly hanging out. Or the impeccably toned men, apparently gym memberships are handed out to most gay men under the age of 40. And they use them. And who could forget the nearly nude girl being led around on a leash with a few perfectly placed pieces of leather covering sites better left seen in the bedroom? Not me. Unfortunately.
All in all, it was a pretty glorious day. Plenty of good food, some booze, and lots of gayness. In the old sense of the word. Obviously
For pictures head over to Sapphires blog, Lost in Stockholm. Because, well, I forgot my camera. And I'm just not much of a photographer. She on the other hand does damn good work and managed to pop out a post with the pictures titled Stockholm Pride Parade 2009: Photos. A fitting title for the post.
Welcome to Sweden. And gay pride.