If you’ve ever wondered what a truly gay and loving city might look like, you might consider attending Stockholm Pride on the Saturday when Pride Parade snakes through the city for nearly three miles. Cheered on by half a million spectators, the Stockholm Pride Parade commences at Stockholm City Hall, wending its way through Pride City in Kungsholmen to Pride House in Norrmalm and on through Ostermalm where more than 45,000 participants with 200 floats march triumphantly into Pride Park, the historic sports ground that played host to the 1912 Summer Olympics.
“I have a big vision for Stockholm,” states the current mayor of Stockholm, the Honorable Karin Wanngård, “It will be a city for all.”
On the Friday afternoon of Pride weekend, Wanngård performs marriage ceremonies for LGBTQ couples at City Hall Park. “We have hosted marriage ceremonies for the past three years and now other locales are copying us, which is good. Pride is a great opportunity to show off the city and the good things of Sweden, because there is so much good to see in this country.”
All of this utopian progressivism is in keeping with Sweden’s desire to become the world’s leading proponent of LGBT equality. As stated in 2014 by Erik Ullenhag, Sweden’s Minister of Integration, “The Swedish government has adopted a strategy to promote equal rights in order to speak with credibility and affect the situation of LGBT people around the world. We must prove that at home we seriously believe that LGBT rights are human rights.”