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The bells of freedom

In Life, Society, Travels on August 3, 2008 by Pino

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The bells of freedom is the title of the official song of the Stockholm EuroPride ’08. This European gay gathering is the main reason why I’m spending my weekend in the Swedish capital. The other reason is obvious: I love this city😉 Because of some organization problems Christian is not with me, but in Hamburg, for its CSD, host of some friends of his…
Although I didn’t want to fly again with Ryanair I ended up by booking their flights because they were extremely cheap (€30 return) and at almost perfect times: Friday night to Stockholm, Sunday night to Berlin. Unfortunately this also meant I didn’t make to the bear party on Friday because I was in town as late as 1.30am and I was too tired to go dancing.

Saturday morning I texted to Kristian (please note: Kristian, with K not Christian, with Ch), a Swedish guy I was chatting with since more than one year, and we met somewhere close to Slussen (in English, sluice) as early as 11.30am to watch the parade. Now you should know that the parade was supposed to arrive there at 2pm, but people were already taking place in the most beautiful spots and when I arrived there it was very crowded😯 Anyway, I was introduced to some friends, another acquaintance of mine joined us and eventually… we were soaking wet under the rain shower😦 It was sooo bad! Obviously when Peter (Kristian’s bf) and I decided to go to H&M (where else?) to buy some umbrellas, the rain stopped…
The parade was great! Lot of people and as much as 152 floats: almost never ending:mrgreen: I made a lot of pictures, which I’m going to post as soon as I’m back home. The English language Swedish newspaper thelocal.se writes:

The parade set off at 1pm from Humlegården in central Stockholm. As always, representatives from Sweden’s different political parties joined the parade, including Cecilia Malmström, Sweden’s Minister of Europe. Other parties represented include the Feminist Initiative and the Pirate Party.

Actually this parade was the most political I’ve ever seen in my life: impressive. Kristian and his friends could even boo to the conservative party while I was dreaming of an Italian gaypride with at least an official recognition… Swedes are spoiled!:mrgreen: Of course in Berlin is not much different: groups and associations are also more free to participate to a gay pride, but I never saw church representatives (the Swedish church, in this case) or the group of homosexuals in the army😯 The most touchy part was anyway when the Stolta Föräldrar till Homosexuella Barn passed by: the proud parents of homosexual children. My god they have been cheered by the crowd! I had goosebumps! It was so emotional…

After the parade we went to a diner and then to some friends’ place before joining a bear party on a boat… We soon found out it was much more of a post-orgasmic-chill-out-meet-up than a real party. I don’t want to say that it was boring, but, yeah, ok, it was kinda boring:mrgreen: At least I could socialize very easily. Of course some Italians were there too😕 , acquaintances from Denmark and Norway and, surprise surprise, even a Greek guy who uses to live in Amsterdam (dunno if it’s still the case, he kinda hates me, so we don’t speak much with each other).

Now I’m going to meet Thomas, a guy I met yesterday on the boat who regularly visits Berlin. He’s not a bear, but he is Swedish and has blue eyes😀

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