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Pride Festival Kicks Off Today

Published måndag 27 juli 2009 kl 11.16
Dancers at the inauguration of the 2001 Pride Festival in Stockholm.

The Stockholm Pride Festival kicked off in the central square of Sergels Torg on Monday. The day's festivities began with a public kissing demonstration to challenge heterosexual norms in society.

In fact, the theme of this year's festival is exactly that: hetero. Claes Nyberg, chairperson of Stockholm Pride, told Swedish news agency TT that the festival will not concentrate on a particular political issue like gay marriage, adoptions, or hate crimes as it has in previous years. Instead, this year's Pride will focus on small, everyday situations in which heterosexual norms affect homosexuals, bisexuals and transsexuals.

These situations can occur when hotel staff push apart two double beds because they assume a lesbian couple checking in are just friends, for example. Or, Claes Nyberg describes, how people don't dare to hold hands with their partner at the store because they're afraid of running into someone they know.

The Pride Festival will continue through Sunday, with its highlight--the Pride Parade--taking place on Saturday, August 1.

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