Sunny Stockholm greets Pride marchers
Despite rain forecasts, sunny weather prevailed as the 2012 Stockholm Pride Parade departed from the Humlegården park at 1:00 PM Saturday. Participants dressed in pink feathers, white sailor costumes and 18th century dresses marched alongside representatives from unions and political parties.
"I have been here to watch a few times and it's a lot of fun," says 26-year-old Cornelia Karlsund from outside Stockholm.
She is wearing a rainbow-coloured leather jacket and marching in the parade for the first time, under the banner "Dykes on bikes".
"I thought that this time I would join the rainbow parade. It's important to show support," she says.
Several politicians – including Justice Minister Beatrice Ask, the Green Party leader Gustav Fridolin and the former Social Democrat leader Mona Sahlin – joined the parade.
"I have been here several times previously, but this is my first time as party leader," Enterprise Minister Annie Lööf, who leads the Centre Party, told TT. "It is a lot of fun but one should not forget it concerns a very important question."
Marie-Louise and Ulf Allo, an couple at 73 and 68 years of age respectively, have watched the parade since it began. "It's like a big carneval, " they said.
Stockholm hosted its first Pride event in the current form in 1998, but the city has seen yearly LGBT manifestations since 1977.
The parade itself draws around half a million onlookers and nearly 50,000 participants, organisers say.