The city feels more colourful and brighter and gayer than usual. There are LGBTQ+ workshops, lectures, plays and fun family activities happening everywhere in town. It feels like Gothenburg belongs to us queers too this week.
But I also see people scoff and complain about the rainbow flags. And I and many people like me still aren’t fully out where we work because it would be too mentally taxing to have to go every day to a place when you know you’re going to be mocked.
People ask: What’s the point of a Pride festival in 2022 in one of the most socially liberal countries in the world? The answer is that while it’s far better here for LGBTQ+ people compared to many other places, it’s still not near good enough. Because even though gay people are supposed to be equal in the eyes of the law, you never see men holding hands in public and we risk being assaulted if we do. Because the Swedish state stopped forcibly sterilising trans people not even a decade ago and still controls if and when we get medical help to transition. And because even in the oh-so-progressive country of Sweden, conversion therapy is still fully legal, causing lifelong trauma in many young people.
This week, we get to feel a bit more at home. But even now, and beyond the colourful flags, this is a cishet’s world.