The Gay Pride Helsinki LGBTQ Festival Parade 2016 – Helsinki calling for their Gay Pride! And of course, we as gay travel bloggers from Amsterdam are supporting the Finnish rainbow demonstration for equality, respect, and love. As one of the most powerful but grounded Gay Pride Parades in Finland, Europe, and worldwide we attended so far, we could capture our favorite moments of love, diversity, and beauty during our one-week trip to the Finnish capital Helsinki for the EuroGames 2016 and the colorful Helsinki Gay Pride Weekend 2016. More than 30,000 colorful dressed and motivated (not only LGBTQ) people from all over the world were demonstrating with self-made posters, rainbow flags, dancing performances, and their voice for more equality, peace, and recognition in society worldwide. The same weekend of Madrid and Cologne Pride, this secret gem of Helsinki Gay Pride was a great surprise for us as a gay couple traveling the world. Why? In a very warm-hearted and colorful way, the Gay Pride Helsinki LGBTQ Festival Parade 2016 was one of the most diverse and authentic gay parades we ever walked. Enjoy our most powerful and colorful pictures taking in Helsinki and see the Gay Pride Week of the Finnish capital through a couple of men‘s eyes!
Demonstration for Gay Rights worldwide
Helsinki during the Helsinki Pride week was just colorful. Not only because throughout the whole city, rainbow flags waving in the Nordic wind from almost every building in town. Everywhere in the city of Helsinki were hanging posters with commercials for Pride week and EuroGames 2016 while radio stations and newspapers publishing the detailed schedule for the Helsinki Pride Program at the EuroGames Village at Kansalaistori. And the people have been simply wonderful, heartwarming friendly, and gorgeous. So many colors and dressed people as LGBTQ individuals demonstrating for their purpose but all together for more equality, human rights, and peaceful life, not only but also in Europe.
Since March 2017, Gay couples are legally allowed to get married all over Finland. The parliament voted clearly for equality and legalized same-sex marriage in Finland.
Video of the Helsinki Pride beginning
Rainbow gathering in front Helsinki Cathedral
Before the pride walk through the city of Helsinki started, LGBTQ people, their friends, and supporters were asked to meet at noon in front of Helsinki’s most famous landmark, the Helsinki cathedral. The huge white building with its big stairway in front was a perfect place to see all the colors of the rainbow while enjoying the view over the dancing crowd at Senate Square, waiting for the signal to start the Helsinki Pride Parade 2016. Do you spot our proud Karl with his new Gay Helsinki Bag by Uniikki kangaskassit of Tomi Haltia?
City Trip for Gay Pride Helsinki LGBTQ Festival Parade
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Video of us walking Helsinki Pride parade
No fear during Helsinki Pride Parade 2016
The Pride Parade in Tel Aviv was a fundamentally different experience, being (next to a handful of powerful demonstrating support groups) sexier and with a huge party feeling with uncountable handsome and hot gay men from all over the world. Helsinki Pride felt more like a diverse demonstration remembering us at the beginning of our own, first Pride Parades. Proud to be gay, proud to be out, and proud to show the world that we are an important part of a colorful and wide society. Equipped with self-made posters, flags and dressed in every beautiful way possible, the more than 30,000 people were the true part of Helsinki Pride. Walking hand in hand through the Finnish capital side by side with LGBTQ-out individuals made us proud, losing our fear of all the homophobic forces in the world.
Marching “hand-in-hand” for those who can’t
Additional to the happy celebrating crowd, some more thoughtful and reminding groups were part of the parade. Remembering all the silenced and killed LGBTQIA worldwide, activists and supporters called for attention by demonstrating with megaphones, dances, and screaming self-made posters or by simply being silent, marching forward holding signs with the faces of people who are no longer here to walk for themselves. Once again we felt pride coming up, pride to be where we are, what we achieved, and being proud to stand together for the long way we still have to go, thinking of Orlando and all the 70+ countries in the world where homosexuality is still a reason to punish and even kill people. Gay Pride Helsinki LGBTQ Festival Parade 2016: thank you for being as diverse and colorful as we all are.
The Parade ended right in the city center, just a couple of minutes away from Helsinki Central Station at Kansalaistori Square. Here at the EuroGames Village started the on-stage music program after the speeches for equality and gay rights were finished. The relaxed atmosphere of the village with a Finnish sauna, food tents, little shops, and a gay info center invited the demonstrators to end this beautiful day together. For example, all over the park in front of the Finlandia Hall, human beings of any gender celebrated their day in peace.
Kept as a secret, the citizens of Helsinki are more than proud to live in their wonderful city closely connected to nature. Recently, Finland has been elected to be the world’s most socially progressive country, as it is also legalized gay marriage officially in spring 2017.
Gay Pride Helsinki LGBTQ Festival Parade
The Helsinki Pride was one of the highlights of our week in the Finnish capital. It is one of those hidden secrets in the world you don’t know about, but you should definitely not want to miss it. But still, Helsinki offers so much more! Design and architectural highlights, museums, and exhibitions (like the Tom of Finland exhibition), the mountaintop theme park Linnanmäki and an extraordinary Sauna tradition, to name just a few of our best experiences. We will write about our time in Helsinki in one of our next blog articles, of course, with many pictures and some videos!
We will definitely come back.
Karl & Daan.
Thank you, Visit Helsinki, Finnair, gay-friendly Aallonkoti Hotel Apartments, and the wonderful locals of Helsinki for making this trip an incredible experience. Nevertheless, our opinion and our writings are our own, as always.