After a week of Gay Pride events in Oslo, the thousands of people taking part were also gearing up for their annual large parade through the streets of the Norwegian capital on Saturday. It was expected to attract both homo- and heterosexuals alike.
The events, known collectively as Oslo Pride 2015, have attracted people from all over the country who, Oslo Pride leader Lars Arnesen told newspaper Aftenposten, find greater acceptance “for being different” in the capital than they do in the smaller cities and towns where they live. “It’s clearly easier to find kindred spirits in Oslo,” Arnesen said. “In smaller places, it can be much more difficult to be open and come out, even with your friends.”
He said there’s still “a lot of potential for improvement” in acceptance of gays, lesbians and, he said, especially transgender people in Norway. That why events like Oslo Pride are still important, he said. “To call someone ‘homo’ is still meant as an insult,” he told Aftenposten. Oslo Pride is aimed at just that – being proud.
Events this week have included political workshops, concerts, art exhibits and “Pride Park” in the center of town, with shows, food and drink. Saturday’s parade was due to feature around 20,000 people and 60 floats as it wound through the streets from Grønlandsleiret to Spikersuppa, between Parliament and National Theater. Arnesen said the parade was “for everyone who feels they have a place, either to show support for others or for their own sake.” All of Norway’s political parties were taking part, he said, with the exception of the Christian Democrats. “All told, there are a lot of hetersexuals in the parade,” he said.