Thousands marched for equal rights

The Swedish Journalist Erik Norbergh is also writing about Umeå Pride. 

Photo: Erik Norbergh. Gauston Kandem 

Photo: Erik Norbergh. Gauston Kandem 

Thousands of people gathered in central Umea on saturday to participate in the annual Pride Parade. The atmoshpere was joyful and people of all ages were represented.

– I am here to celebrate love and the right to love whoever you want, says Morgan Kauppi, who attended the parade with his daughers – Bente, 5 years, and Iseli, two years.

The first Pride Parade was arranged in Umea in 2006. As usual, this year´s parade started in one of the central parks where it also ended after the participants had walked through the central area. Thousands of people took part in the parade, according to the organizers who are reluctant to give a specific number.

– Thousands is no understatement. It felt like more than previous years, Martin Oscarsson, one of the organizers, tells Redex.

Sweden has in different ratings been pronounced as a very gay friendly nation, but in other countries the situation is quite different. 38 year old Gastom Kandem from Kamerun took part in the parade in Umeå. He says he as an openly gay man feels much safer here in Sweden.

– It´s quite different here compared to my country. In Kamerun gays must stay in secret. If someone only suspect that you are gay you are finished, you can be a dead man, he says walking down the street holding a sign with the text ”Newcomers”.