Stockholm Pride will be begin July 27th and wrap up on August 1st with the parade and festival. This is the largest Pride festival in the region and I’m excited to see how it unfolds in this very socially progressive country. I am already in Sweden, in Malmo, staying with friends and I’m getting some very interesting insight into the country. Over and over again I’m told that the LGBTQ community is completely accepted and integrated into Swedish society, and that being gay is really a non-issue here, to the point that one person, a Canadian living here, described the LGBTQ community as almost invisible.Here in Malmo there isn’t a gay village, or any clubs, bars or restaurants that cater specifically to the LGBTQ community. I wore my Beyond Gay t-shirt around town the other day, which can usually raise a few eyebrows and second looks in Vancouver; here I got nothing. I’m experiencing something wonderfully relaxing, but I’m still a little skeptical. It’s actually unnervingly accepting, but I’m pretty sure I could get used to it.
Beyond Gay screens on July 29th at 1:00 PM at cinema Klarabiografen (details here) and afterwards we’ll have a panel discussion with the a journalist from SOGI News and the Executive Director of RFSL the Swedish Federation for LGBT rights, which is sponsoring the screening along with the Canadian Embassy. On Thursday at 12:30 PM, the embassy is also hosting a screening of Out of Iran: Iran’s Unwanted Sons and Daughters by Canadian – Iranian filmmaker Farid Haerinejad, and I’ll be participating in the panel that takes place afterwards. This screening is being held in The Canadian Embassy, by invitation only, but if you’re in Stockholm and interested in attending, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can get you on the guest list. Once again I am so impressed with all the efforts the Canadian embassy in Stockholm is making to ensure that Pride here addresses social justice and LGBTQ rights around the globe. On Saturday we’ll march for those who can’t, and celebrate how far we’ve come. I’ll tell you all about it after I get some sleep.