PRIDE HAUS

PHOTOS: Life Is Swede At Stockholm Pride

I’ve taken pictures at Pride festivals all over the world, but none were as fun and energetic as the 15th annual Stockholm Pride, held in the capital city July 31 to August 4.  I hit Stockholm‘s Pride Park as soon as I arrived Friday morning, but realized comedian Margaret Cho and I were like ships passing in the night—she performed Thursday afternoon.  (And was  “wickedly funny,” according to the woman at reception.)

Roughly half-a-million people filled the streets for this year’s pride: The parade kicked off at 1pm in Humlegården, I was having a pre-Pride brunch at Hilton Stockholm Slussen but joined the crowd in front of  Kolingsborg, a popular nightclub.

Like they do at most Pride parades, fun-loving dykes on bikes kicked off the reveling.  I was on an island in the middle of the street for the first part of the march, then jumped in with a gang of Swedish rugby players and got swept up in the excitement.  By the time I actually reached Pride Park I had encountered musclemen, proud parents, party leaders, cute boys in body paint, troops of Scandinavian drag queens, and some things I still haven’t identified. Stockholm was up all night—and so was I.

Photos: Jeffrey James Keyes