Last week was Pride Week in Stockholm. Rainbow flags were everywhere, even on the buses! I’m trying to figure out my new camera, so I have yet to download my photos — so you will have to imagine an array of rainbow flags on the bridge that crosses from the Royal Palace to the King’s Garden in downtown. Sounds pretty fabulous, no?
I went to the festivities one evening with my friend K, who was disappointed. For her, the Pride Fest means fringe, extreme outer edges, celebrated outside the city, in Solna, an immigrant neighborhood, which she presented as further evidence of the rebellion and outsider status of being gay. K sorely missed the queens, the intense discussions, the political aspects of this kind of gathering, as we wandered through the mainstream political booths and the older straight couples holding hands or corralling their children.
I can see what she means — more street fair than street protest, this gathering was really calm and vanilla. And in some ways, that’s beautiful too: It’s fairly acceptable to be gay in this town, it would seem.
The only reason we could think of for the extra complements of police officers would be the attacks that happened last month in Norway. Perhaps the establishment was expecting a fringe element to attack gay folks and their supporters, now that it is so mainstream?
I can write that ever-so-slightly tongue in cheek, but the events in Norway are truly frightening. I’ve been mulling them over, reluctant to post anything about it. I will do so soon.
I will say it certainly changed the way I read this headline: “Swedish tourist group targets US gays”