Oslo Pride Parade: “A celebration of love”
The largest celebration of ‘bent’ love is held in Oslo on Saturday. The Oslo Pride Parade gathers 50,000 participants, according to the organiser.
The Pride Week, which was kicked off last Friday, ends with a parade through the streets of Oslo today.
Prime Minister Erna Solberg (Conservatives) leads the parade, along with, among others, Festival Manager of Oslo Pride, Fredrik Heyer, and Mayor of Oslo, Marianne Borgen (Socialists). Appropriately enough, in glorious summer weather.
They sport flower wreaths, made by students from a high school in Oslo.
“This is a day of celebration. Love is celebrated; It shows the openness of our Norwegian society,” Prime Minister Solberg tells NTB.
The Prime Minister, however, adds that there are still challenges in this area.
“The sexual awakening and understanding of the identity of children and young people are perhaps the most demanding. We know this when we experience, for example, young people who commit suicide because they are different,” Solberg continues.
A day of celebration
Organisers have held art exhibitions and debates on gender, gender equality and sexual identity leading up to the Oslo Pride Parade.
“Today is a day of celebration. We are going to mark the struggle for rights for ‘bent’ persons and celebrate the rights we have obtained. The whole city is gathered for a huge people’s party,” Festival Manager, Fredrik Dreyer, tells NTB.
“We know that there are still attitudes in society that prevent people from the security needed to live the lives they wish for,” he continues.
50,000 persons participate in this year’s parade, according to the organiser. That is a record. A further 270,000 follows the Pride Parade as spectators, cheering it onwards.
The parade, by comparison, boasted around 40,000 participants and 200,000 spectators under a baking sun last year.
The Crown Prince Couple visited Pride Park in Oslo on Thursday. It was the first time they visited the event.
“This is an important recognition of Oslo Pride and human rights. It can help to send a positive signal to the rest of society,” The Leader of FRI (Association for Gender and Sexuality Diversity), Ingvild Endestad, exclaimed in connection with the visit.
Pride Parade started at the Grønland district
Oslo Pride is organized by hundreds of volunteers in FRI Oslo and Akershus. The parade started at Grønland in Oslo.
“Today we show that Oslo wants to be a generous and inclusive city with room for everyone. It is a great day of celebration, marking not only freedom and love but also that it is 50 years since the first revolt at Stonewall,” Mayor of Oslo, Marianne Borgen, explains.
Nydalen High School participates, as the first of its kind, in the parade.
4 million visitors are expected to World Pride in New York this year. It will also mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising there.
Borgen believes that much remains to be done before everyone is allowed to live out their sexual orientation.
“There are still many who think that it is difficult, especially among minorities. This day is, therefore, so important, to show that there is a great consensus that people should be able to live out their love,” the Mayor of Oslo continues.
© #Norway Today