on saturday morning, just a mere 24 hours after my brother left to go back to the states, lina and i headed back to stockholm for the big stockholm pride celebration.
the actual pride festival had been going on all week long throughout the city, and we were pumped to get to be part of the closing celebrations: the big pride parade!
stockholm’s pride parade is always the biggest in scandinavia/northern europe, and from what i could tell, that is most definitely true. helloooo people! what was amazing was to see how many couples of all kinds, families, elderly, gay, international, and straight people all took part. this is not just a day for the lgbtq community to get together, but a day that the general swedish public makes its way to the center of stockholm to celebrate the right to simply be who you are. it basically took my breath away.
speaking of rights, lina and i decided to go all in with this parade, having never even been to the stockholm parade before. and we decided that we’d kill two birds with one stone by walking with an eating disorder organization that seeks to work for a community where everyone is free to be themselves, just as they are. (that’s their slogan!). so, to be able to support this eating disorder organization and lgbtq rights at the same time ws a double powerful bonus for us.
here’s how the day went.
we met up at noon with our group and found our place in the parade line. the sun was shining, it was super warm (the first time in about three weeks), and everyone was pumped. love was spilling out all over the streets. the energy itself would get you high.
we waited + waited for our turn to finally start walking, all 20 of us who were marching together. in the meantime, we snapped pictures, ate snacks, people-watched, and got more + more excited.
by the way, we waited so long because there were 45,000 people marching in the parade! what?! amazing! (and just a measly 400,000 ish lining the streets).
finally it was time to start walking through the streets of stockholm, starting at mariatorget in södermalm and ending at östermalm’s sport park. it would be a long, slow walk that took about 2 and a half hours. but, the time flew by!
all along the way people cheered, clapped, yelled, laughed, and lined the streets and bridges. many people hung out of their apartment windows, or decorated their balconies with rainbow flags. it was seriously breathtaking and overwhelming.
it was at this point, near the beginning of the parade that i was overcome with emotion. so many people. so much love. so much support. eeeeeee!
photo from frisk & fri.
after the celebratory parade came to an end, our feet were aching, our stomachs were growling, but we were so satisfied + happy. we met some friends/family at a restaurant to refuel, swung by our killer airbnb apartment, then headed out for drinks in the late swedish sunshine.
all in all, it was a day + and experience that i will never forget. a day that i was proud to call sweden my home. and a day that most definitely exceeded my expectations. what a celebration of love + acceptance + the basic human right to simply be who you are!
my wish is that all people, everywhere, one day have the opportunity to feel so welcomed, so loved, so accepted. that different is beautiful. and that we are all created to be exactly who we are. we’ve got work to do, my friends, to make that dream come true!
onwards + upwards! xoxo