Probably 500 people marched through the streets and gathered in the park to hear speeches, listen to music and drink coffee whilst demonstrating for every person's right to be themselves and to love whoever they choose. I did my hair specially, and wore my rainbow jewelry for the occasion. It was a nice, friendly, positive event with some really good banners! The extras show some of the Left Party's placards, in English so everyone can understand - "new Swedes" and old.
There were many representatives from the church, our cathedral has it's very own rainbow mat, and has had a lesbian bishop, and was one of the first places to marry two women. We have form in our town! Many of the political parties were represented, but oddly not the far right who shout out that homosexuality is a perversion. The leader of the county spoke, she sounded moved herself. The leader of the council spoke about the importance of people being able to be themselves and to walk in safety in our town, whoever they were, however they looked, whoever they loved.
Obviously, I agree with all that! But I noted that there were far more people of the same sex holding hands and walking, with pride, today. Of course these couples were there to support the event, but I wondered how safe they feel the rest of the time... Glorious weather for the parade, and there were so many people in town for the big market, and the funfair. The paper was there taking photos and interviewing people, and the TV was there filming. Hopefully there will be a lot of exposure, and that will help people to think more deeply about human rights.
Härnösand really is a very good place to live in, it looked so beautiful in the sunshine. All the towns around us in our county have their own pride parades, and all are working hard to promote tolerance and acceptance and respect. One of the singers today was a young man Hector Brännlund, who has spent a lot of time touring the schools, speaking to teachers and head teachers about how they can best support children who identify as LGBQT. It was such a hopeful day!
Off to town again in a while to see the film (Pride) and socialise some more with like-minded people..