This weekend I was off from work and some friends had convinced me to participate in the Copenhagen Pride parade. For various reasons, I’ve never watched the entire parade but I have joined the parties going on in the Pride week a few times. I’ve never considered walking in the parade myself, mostly because I’m not actually gay, but when my friends suggested it, it seemed like the obvious thing to do on a sunny Saturday.
We met at the starting point at 1pm – me arriving in a cab because I was late as usual and couldn’t be bothered with stressing in overheated busses on such a beautiful day. The place was buzzing. This years parade was apparently the biggest ever with more than 80 different groups, each with their own truck or bus, fabulously decorated and with music blasting, elaborate costumes and confetti canons.
For a while we walked around, trying to find the group my friends had decided to walk with – me with a beer, my camera and a huge smile. The atmosphere was amazing, everyone buzzing with anticipation, getting the final preparations done and admiring each others costumes.
The Rainbow Vikings
– I don’t know why but every time I saw them, my inner jukebox started playing Village People.
friends of friends
– the heat was crazy, how they survived is a mystery.
A hat, a giant mic, a feather boa and the right attitude; so simple and yet so effectual..
When the parade finally started moving I realized two things; when you are in the parade, you don’t get to watch everyone else in it. Bummer. And also, huge amounts of people standing on each side of the streets, watching and cheering, can be a tiny bit intimidating. Beer helps.
At the beginning of the parade
Thank God (!) I’d put on a thick layer of sunscreen and was wearing a well-aired-out dress because the day turned out to be one of the hottest days. Ever. Most of the time I couldn’t even wear my shades because too much heat was being accumulated, creating steam room conditions behind the glasses. Every time we turned a corner and got in the shade, the whole crowd was aah’ing.
I had imagined we would walk for an hour’ish, maybe a bit longer. It took 3 hours. Slowly we danced through the city, getting cold beers every time we passed a convenience store, laughing with relief every time a breeze hit us and just soaked up the happy vibes.
Again a realization swept through my blonde being; you really shouldn’t drink beer when you’re in a 3-hour parade with very little chance of a bathroom (shots would have been a much better option in a situation like this). My friends and I were joking that since I was wearing a long dress, would anyone even notice if I just released it little by little, casually dripping along. Every time they fired the confetti canon, everyone cheered and looked up, reaching for the glitter – not a soul would have noticed tiny puddles forming on the street following my dress.
Well, instead I clenched on and eventually was able to do a bathroom run, literally.
The cutest little angel
The people who’d showed up to watch and support the parade were awesome. Many of them were in costume, waving rainbow flags and partying as much as the people in the parade.
Especially these old geezers spread some love from their balcony
I’ve had socks like these – I should get new ones
Amazing atmosphere – like the whole city was celebrating together
When we reached the City Hall Square, the trucks were taken away, people freshened up their costumes and there was music and entertainment and speeches. We met up with more friends, made it a mission to actually get some water, made a semi-drunk phone call to my mom, I repressed the urge to drunk dial my ex and then we headed down to join a street party.
I completely fell in love with these two wonderful people
Fell in love with ms. military as well
The rest of the day and night was happiness and dancing and talking and meeting beautiful people and just having a ton of fun.
On a more serious note, during a long conversation with a good friend, where we among other things were dreaming of a day in the future where there will no longer exist a need for a parade like this. When homosexuality will be considered just as normal as heterosexuality and everyone will be able to be who they are without fear. Well, during that conversation I learned that transsexualism is still categorized as a mental decease by WHO. I couldn’t believe it and so the next day I checked the latest version of the ICD-10 list – and there it is, labeled a disorder. It’s scary that in some areas, we (the world) are still so narrow-minded.
But on that Saturday, all minds and hearts were as open as ever before and we had a great party. And more beers.
When I got out of bed next morning, pieces of shiny confetti was still drizzling from God knows where..