Scores of Swedes, expats, and LGBT celebrants marched through Stockholm for the Swedish capital's 15th annual gay pride event this weekend. There were leather daddies, straight dads with little babies, biker babes, men dressed like biker babes, twinks, muscle studs… The list goes on. One person who was not present but who was definitely a presence was Vladimir Putin. The Russian president and his regime were protested left, right, and center at Stockholm Pride, including by organizers. "We cannot stand silent and watch while a Pride-festival becomes an illegal act and can’t be implemented in Russia," said Stockholm Pride president Peter Rimsby. "We urge anyone who has a voice to show LGBTQ people in Russia there are many people in Sweden who joins their fight."
Meanwhile, an American group there, Democrats Abroad, used the occasion to protest anti-gay marriage laws here in the States. "It's a crucial year to support the LGBT community, which is why we are marching," Democrats Abroad Sweden spokeswoman Suzanne Samuels told The Local. And the group's presence also highlighted another growing issue for gay expats who moved away from the States for love.
"A lot of our members can't go back home with their same-sex partners, because it hasn't been legal, but some can now apply for green cards," said Samuels. "[But] it would involve uprooting their live."
To get a closer look at the varied scenes from Stockholm Pride, check out this slideshow: