The first Pride festival in Sweden was held in Stockholm in 1998. Luleå celebrated its first Pride in 2012. And since then it has become a permanent part of Alla hjärtans stad (Valentine’s City).
That first year Pride filled the city park with happy visitors that took part in debates, lectures and performances. Rainbow-colored flags fluttered in time to the music and just over 1,000 people participated in the parade, which is the festival’s main high point.
The debut was, in other words, so successful that there was no question of not having a replay every summer since then. Linda Moestam and Sophie Gunnarsson are the project leaders for RFSL Luleå and Northern Norrbotten County. With the organization RFSL (The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights) in the background, they have taken on the task as festival organizers. Their goals are clear. The festival is for everyone but will spotlight LGBT issues. Labels should not play any role but visitors should be fed with information.
Since Luleå has become a host city of the festival that celebrates the LGBT movement it becomes particularly clear that Luleå is a city for all. In the ‘Original Luleå Story magazine’, Sophie Gunnarsson says that the festival is a place where all are equal, where the debate is at a local level, which in turn leads to the development of knowledge among the citizens of Norrbotten.