Monday, June 22, 2009
Glad to be Gay in Copenhagen and Stockholm
Fly the Gay-Friendly Skies
Gay travelers always find a warm welcome in Copenhagen and Stockholm. Now they receive the same treatment even before they board their flights on SAS thanks to the airline’s dedicated web page for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual/transgender travelers. The site offers GLBT maps, guides and event calendars for both cities plus insider tips on bars, cafés, restaurants and nightspots straight (well, not entirely “straight”) from SAS crew members.
Go Out and Celebrate
The World Outgames 2009 in Copenhagen (July 25-August 2) is the marquis event on the GLBT calendar this year, but it’s just one of the many rainbow-hued celebrations in 2009. The Queer Festival and Copenhagen Pride, which culminates with the gala Pride Parade, will be held concurrent with the World Outgames. The Rainbow Festival will take place just across the sound in Malmø, Sweden, September 19-27, and the Copenhagen Gay & Lesbian Film Festival will be held October 16-25. Stockholm Pride, the largest Pride festival in Scandinavia takes place July 27-August 2, and includes classic events such as Queer Volleyball and the parade of the Viking Bears.
Heritage of Pride and Acceptance
October 1, 2009 marks the 20th anniversary of legal same-sex civil unions in Denmark, the first nation in the world to legalize same-sex civil unions. But the heritage of pride in Copenhagen and Stockholm goes back much further than that. The National Association for Gays and Lesbians, the first organization of its kind in the world, was founded in Copenhagen in 1948. Centralhjornet, Copenhagen’s first gay bar, opened more than 80 years ago. Earlier still, Sweden’s Queen Kristina put gender-bending on the menu in the 17th century (and was portrayed on film by the great gay icon Greta Garbo in 1933). And Sweden’s King Gustav III, who ruled from 1771 to 1792, is commonly considered Sweden’s “gay king.” He would have loved the annual Stockholm Pride parade, which is why the procession always includes a stop to lay a ceremonial wreath at his statue near the royal palace.