50,000 join Stockholm Pride parade
TT/The Local · 4 Aug 2007, 18:16
Published: 04 Aug 2007 18:16 GMT+02:00
Groups representing teachers, police, members of parliament and priests marched in the parade to show support for gay rights.
Dress ranged, as usual, from minimalist to maximalist. Some men wore only leather pants and displayed rippling torsos; others, such as well known drag-queen Babsan, Lars-Åke Wilhelmsson, wore more elaborate outfits. Babsan paraded through town on a car roof wearing a glamorous confection.
One couple to stand out from the crowd was Joachim Schwartzbach and Frode Tolleröd. Their tiny outfits were complemented by large feather wings and 4,000 crystals placed around their bodies.
"It's important to show who you are and dare to stand up for it," said Schwartzbach.
Organizers estimate that 50,000 people paraded, while around half a million people watched the parade's progress through the capital. But despite the great public interest and the fact that the Stockholm Pride has previously been attacked by right-wing extremists, police commander Lars Lindros said he expected the afternoon to go smoothly.
"The biggest problem will be the heat, but we can solve that with lots of liquids," he told news agency TT.
This year's parade was the first in which priests from the Lutheran Church of Sweden took part. Ann-Cathrin Jarl, the Archbishop's closest aide.
"I think that it is time for the Church of Sweden to give itself some good PR," she said.
A large number of members of parliament and ministers also participated. Finance minister Anders Borg said: "I think it's important to take part in demonstrations for tolerance and openness," he said.