Pride is a time for love and colours. But also, solidarity, diversity and equality. In many places people are not allowed to love who they really love. Norwegians have a liberal attitude towards LGBTQ+ individuals and that means a lot, says Thomas Syvertsen, Head of Communications for Oslo Pride.
A Pride Parade for Everyone
Norway was among the first countries to enact anti-discrimination laws against gays and lesbians and ranks as third best in the ILGA-Europe 2018 rating of 49 European countries. Oslo Pride is Norway’s largest LGBTQ+ event and is held annually in June/July with the aim to contribute to the acceptance of people regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
To celebrate Pride, Visit Norway and VisitOSLO invited Kadir (24) and the Czech couple Anna (31) and Klára (32) to a weekend in Oslo to proudly celebrate their true colours. For Kadir, this was his first Pride.
– It was an emotional experience. I come from a very masculine culture, and always have to restrict myself. But I take 100 percent pride in who I am and was very excited before my trip to Norway, he says
Half of Oslo’s population joined the celebration
Oslo Pride was arranged for the first time in 1974. Over ten days, human rights and LGBTQ+ issues set the agenda through art, debates and parties. This year it is estimated that almost half of Oslo’s population joined in on the celebration. More than 40,000 people attended Oslo’s Pride Parade on July 1st as well as some 200,000 people watching and cheering along the way.
According to Kadir, the trip to Oslo gave him motivation and strength to be even prouder of who he is. – I love Oslo. Not only does it give med the freedom to be who I am. But it also gives me the joy to have fun as who I am. The Oslo Pride is very inclusive. Not just LGBTQ+ individuals participate in the parade, but everyone in Norway are welcome to join, says Kadir.
Even firefighters, police officers and the army joins the parade. Which made a big impression on the foreign participants.
– The police in my country work as guards during the Pride, and I can’t imagine police officers attending the parade itself, says Anna.
The trip was Anna and Klára’s first trip to Oslo. To them, it was like the whole city had prepared for the parade. – We felt that Oslo is a place where people accept you for who you are. For instance, nobody was looking at us when we were holding hands. Instead, some people actually walked up to us and said: «This is your celebration, but we will take part in it», Klára explains
The Proud Experience
In a new film, The Proud Experience, you can enjoy Oslo Pride through the eyes of Kadir, Anna and Klára. The three guests teamed up with Oslo locals to explore local social hangouts and other popular places in the Norwegian capital, before dancing through the streets in the Oslo Pride parade.
– The film represents Norway and Norwegian values of openness and liberalisation. We want to be a place where everyone feels welcome, says Bente Bratland Holm, the Director of Visit Norway.
Visit Norway made the film in collaboration with VisitOSLO, Oslo Pride and Oslo Brand Partners.
– By experiencing Oslo and Oslo Pride through the eyes of Kadir, Anna and Klára we wanted to highlight how proud we are of our colourful city. Norway’s capital is inclusive, diverse and open to all, says Tord Baklund, Project Manager VisitOSLO.
The Proud Experience
Photo by VisitOslo – Anna and Klara in the Pride Parade at Grønland.