A “Pride” parade for everybody
The sun shone on colorful bodies in Grønland, and with a focus on the campaign “walk for me” this year’s Pride parade was a parade also for those who did not dare to meet up representing themselves.
Rainbows adorn posters, faces, skins and thighs. It rages glitters and confetti while people dance on the spot, tripping to start walking. It’s like a colorful national day. It is time for Pride parade in Oslo.
Walk for me
At least 30,000 people have met for the annual parade from Greenland to Spikersuppa (the centre) of Oslo. Many of them are going to go for a friend who does not dare to go. This year, there is a great focus on the campaign “walk for me.” Artist Maria Mena is one of those who were a stand in for those who do not dare to meet up this year.
– I think the campaign is incredibly important. Because then we can hopefully double the number of dares to attend. This year I will go for a friend of mine, next year I hope that we walk hand in hand, says the artist to NTB.
This year, Maria Mena is attending Pride with her stepdaughter. She finds it important to show her that she grows up as a part of a more open society.
– This is a parade for everyone. We live in a more open society now, and that I want to show my stepdaughter. We have a greater diversity now than before, but I still wish that being gay should not be something you ask about anymore, it should not have to be a big issue, says Mena.
“We dance for anyone who can not”
On the back of a lorry, there is dancing going on under the banner “We dance for anyone who can not.” It is the “Free” organization which has launched the “walk for me” campaign where people have anonymously submitted their stories of why they do not dare to join The parade on the campaign’s website. You can then enter the web page and choose to walk on behalf of someone who does not dare to do so.
One of the reasons why the parade this year has received such great support is, according to festival manager Fredrik Dreyer, due to the campaign.
– We have experienced an enormous commitment this year, I think very much due to the” walk for me “campaign. Otherwise, the parade is important to show how far we have come, but also to show that we have a long way to go, according to Dreyer
An important day for Oslo
Foremost in the parade went Minister of Health, Bent Høie, (Conservatives). He thinks it is important to attend in the parade for all those who do not dare to attend, but also for people in other countries who have not come as far as Norway.
“It is important that we celebrate today. I also think it’s important to walk for those who do not dare go for themselves. Both in solidarity with other countries with more challenges than ourselves and for smaller groups in society who may find it harder to stand up to who they are, says Høie.
By Bent Høie’s side, a rainbow flag waves in the wind. It is held by Mayor Marianne Borgen. She thinks the parade is a great day for the city.
– It is important to see that Oslo is diverse. Now we have raised the flag even at the town hall. Everyone must be allowed to be who they are and love the ones they want, says Borgen.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today