Sweden loves its reputation as one of the world’s most openminded and inclusive countries. So it is no wonder that its Pride celebrations in Sweden mean a lot to the local gay community and Swedes on the whole.
Being gay has been legal here for nearly three quarters of a century. It’s also one of the world’s first countries to say that homosexuality is not a mental illness. That kicked off a flurry of huge steps for the LGBTI community in Sweden, from transgender rights, to equal marriage backed overwhelmingly by the Church of Sweden.
This year sees around 25 individual LGBTI Pride festivals across Sweden. Collectively, it is a great big warm up for Stockholm and Gothenburg, who will be jointly hosting Europride in 2018. It’s the first time two cities have come together to host the festival of diversity.
So there are 25 amazing reasons to visit Sweden this year (as if you need any excuse). But really it’s a wonderful and inclusive destination all year round. From the sublime South the reaches of Swedish Lapland in the North, there’s always plenty to see.
But if Pride festivals are what you’re into, here’s our round-up of the very best this year.
West Pride is this year’s first big celebration to kick of a summer of gay love and is a fun-filled, community driven LGBTI Pride festival. The big news this year is that it has joined forces with international music festival Way Out West to drive awareness for LGBTI rights to festival revelers of all backgrounds, throughout the entire summer. Great to see these two great events collaborating.
Luleå has only celebrated its Pride since 2012, but since then it has really become quite an event. It happens each summer and draws the entire local community out in support, regardless of sexual orientation and is a really fun, small pride to visit if you’re keen to see how smaller Swedish cities go all out to celebrate.
Luleå is the biggest city in Swedish Lapland with a vibrant city life and closeness to nature; the islands, the sea and river valleys. It is the home to the original hipster way of life and also the gateway to many of Swedish Lapland’s delights, including the stunning Tree Hotel and stunning Sorbyn.
Find out more about Luleå and Swedish Lapland at SwedishLapland.com.
Stockholm Pride remains the largest Pride Festival in Scandinavia since 1998 and aims to raise awareness for LGBTI issues, and create a safe zone for LGBTI people and the gender expressions within the community. It really is quite a sight to visit the city during the parade celebration on a long summer day each year, as it literally takes over the city.
Stockholm, the so-called Venice of Scandinavia really needs no introduction. It was the first ever winner of the British LGBT Award for ‘Destination of the Year’ back in 2013 and has been nominated by the British public, every year, ever since. It’s one of Europe’s most stunning cities and from personal experience, home to what is arguably Europe’s most good looking guys.
Find out more about the Swedish capital at VisitStockholm.com.
Malmö Pride rounds off the Swedish Pride calendar for the year. It’s been going since 1995. It aims to spread both knowledge of LGBTI rights and in true Swedish style, an overall joy of life to the city. The focus of the revelry is in its Folkets Park, the centre of it all. This is where Pride supporters take over the space to create a safe, queer space. It’s a must-see for all gay and lesbian travelers.
Malmö is a progressive, contemporary and forward looking city, but with a lovely laid-back vibe. It boasts great food and there’s no wonder because it is also the gateway to the ‘garden of Sweden’, Skåne – an agricultural land of unending nature, sandy beaches, Swedish wine and stately homes.