Stockholm gets ready for EuroPride

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Ten of thousands of spectators are expected to attend this year’s EuroPride in Stockholm, making the city Europe’’s gay capital.

Having first held the festival ten years ago, the ‘Swedish Sin, Breaking Borders’ themed event is set to attract members of the LGBT community from across the world as it has now been extended to ten days.

“This year is 40 per cent larger than last year,” parade coordinator Paul Turner told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa, regarding the number of groups that have applied to take part in the colourful parade.

There will be gay choirs, teacher’s unions, political parties, emergency services and even gay allotment gardeners.

Turner said the Swedish fire brigade would be at the parade for the first time.

The 2006 EuroPride parade in London attracted 500,000 spectators.

The festival’s ‘Swedish Sin, Breaking Borders’ theme focuses on international LGBT issues with guest speeches by Sweden’s EU Affairs Minister Cecilia Malmstrom, Indian Prince Mavendra Singh Gohil and gender science professor Tiina Rosenberg.

“The theme has two aims,” said Jonah Nylund, president of Stockholm Pride.

“One is to show pride over the progress made in Sweden for homosexuals, bisexuals and transgenders.

“The other is to highlight the problems in the rest of the world, mainly in Eastern Europe where gay Pride events are banned and attacked time and time again.

Malmstrom participated in a Pride seminar and parade in Warsaw in 2007 and was active in the EU parliament’’s work group for LGBT-issues during her time in Brussels.

“I am proud to represent a government who wants to be a strong voice for the rights of LGBT-people,” she told Stockholm Pride.

“”I will speak about human rights and that they are universal and that it’s depressing that LGBT-people rights’ are violated in Europe today.””

Mavendra Singh Gohil revealed he was homosexual in 2006. He is the president of an Indian HIV organisation and one of very few openly gay people in India.

“”We have chosen Mavendra Singh Gohil because he can give EuroPride visitors an image of the situation for LGBT-people in other parts of the world,”” said Nylund.

Europride begins on Friday at the Skansen open-air museum with a popular sing-along event.

Over the ten days, there will be special film screenings, museum exhibitions, seminars and parties, and the parade through the city on August 2nd.

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