Monday, August 03, 2009

Stockholm’s Pride Parade

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.

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18 comments:

  1. I love Gay Pride! Nice chance to party and have a good time. And no, not all gay under 40 get handed gym memberships...I pay for mine and actually use it! Ha ha ha.

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  2. Ah ha!

    So we did finally meet. What an estar :)

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  3. .... my name is not "openid", it's ChuySkywalker. Silly system.

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  4. of course you're openid!

    oh yea, it was a glorious day. especially when openid and i got locked out of the apartment. :P

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  5. @Néstor - yeah it really was, for the most part, just a huge party.

    @openid/ChuySkywalker - it seems we did. Unfortunately Im not all that exciting in person either.

    @ChuySkywalker/openid - I blame google and blogger. it is clearly a plot against the Skywalker.

    @sapphire - unfortunately while openid might be able to open an id. he wasnt able to open a door. oh man.. that was good.

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  6. I love your blog. I was an exchangestudent in Savannah Georgia during spring 2009. And now when I am back again in Stockholm I really notice all this funny swedish things I never thought of before. And it is really fun to read it from an americans perspective! I will recommend it to all my american friends who are very intrested in sweden och our culture ;)
    Take care/ Anja

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  7. A thought in the midst of all this: could I be proud to be a heterosexual without getting stamped as prejudiced? Ok, it was a rethoric question, but you can answer still if you can :)

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  8. @hairy swede - ahahaha! good joke

    i think you're pretty interesting, i mean, otherwise you cannot call yourself an enigma wrapped in a mystery. =P

    @smek - yes? no, maybe.

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  9. i lived in Stockholm 2 years ago.
    the whole time was a real torture! all hotties but cold as ice mountain .

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  10. @citykatt - glad you've enjoyed the blog! it is pretty interesting the differences between the two cultures.

    @smek - I say yes. why not?

    @sapphire - oh the yes no maybe answer. I think youve been in Sweden too long.

    @tom - sweden is known to be a bit cold. and shy.

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  11. I didnt know you were also a Mr McCain fan! B

    I am very pro Gay rights well actually I am pro equal rights is a better label but I cant get my head around Pride.

    I think they should have all flown to Riga and had the Party there to show homophobes that gays are actually rather normal and not the monsters they fear...

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  12. oh I like the term pro equal rights.

    it would be interesting to see something like that in riga. I wonder how many people fly around and take part in the different events in other cities.

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  13. Sorry for my previous message, I had two mins to get outside and get the bus!

    What I mean was I prefer the team pro-equal rights rather than pro gay rights. As long as its a legal status then I support equality 100%.

    I met McCain in 2000 when I campaigned in the Primary for him against Dubya in LA. To this day I am amazed that people could have chosen Bush over McCain but..

    I know I had friends flying to Stockholm on the day before Pride and they had to pay big money for their tickets (Ryanair!) and the passengers shall we say were very colourful!

    Mind you flying in to a Nordic Pride festival would be a different proposition to a Baltic one for sure!

    I do think its high time there was a heterosexual Pride parade though ;-)

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  14. I definitely agree with that!

    That’s pretty cool that you met McCain. I’m still bummed that he didn’t pull it off way back in 2000. I voted for him in this past election but come on, even I can admit the man is just getting too old.

    I wonder if flying to a Baltic Pride festival would be similar to flying to Eurovision in Moscow. For some reason I think that’s probably the closest comparison.

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  15. Yes McCain was too old and he changed, or at least his campaign managers changed him. I only saw the real John McCain when he conceded the election...shame!

    I actually rather liked Huckabee, ok he is a bit too Right on some issues but his record in 'Democratic' Arkansas was pretty impressive.

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  16. thats what killed me, the McCain that I liked so much was the one who came out at his concession speech:
    "Americans never quit. We never surrender.
    We never hide from history. We make history."

    That's just good stuff right there.

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  17. The sad thing is Hairy, I dont really seen any candidates emerging from the GOP who really could challenge Obama.

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  18. it's true.. it's not looking pretty. but theres a couple of years for someone to emerge. crisis can be good for rinsing the party and eventually leading to someone worth electing. hopefully.

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