Last week was the Stockholm Pride festival, which is arranged by the Swedish homo/bi/transsexual community. The festival has been a huge success in recent years. It is supported by the established Swedish society – authorities, media. organizations of various kinds back it up.
Due to this, political parties generally make a point of being present, save of course for right-wing extremist parties and the Christian democrats, which have policies that make such a participation difficult to say the least.
Prior to this year’s festival, the online community connected to Sweden’s largest gay movement magazine, QX, started a project where members could put the logo of the party they supported on their presentation. A bit surprising to many, the party with the most logos on presentations was not the Social Democrats, who has ruled Sweden almost without stop from the beginning of the 20th century. Nor the largest opposition party, the Moderates. But it was the Pirate Party. Around 20% of all presentations with logos had the Pirate party logo.
The Pirate Party had decided long ago to participate in the festival, but this was even more a reason. So, they rented a spot on the festival area and put up a tent, where they handed out information folders, flyers, sold t-shirts and other stuff. The reaction was, according to the party members present, very positive. Many parties were critized because they show up on the Pride festival with tailor made material and voicing policies specific to the gay, bi and transsexual community, to portray themselves as the most “gay friendly” for the elections. Many representatives of the gay community have argued that this makes them feel like voters and not a group needing the support of these parties.
The Pirate Party, however, openly said to everyone that they have no points related to the gay, bi and transsexual community interests. Instead, they claimed that their aims to change copyright legislation, guard privacy and patent opposition are questions that benefit everyone, regardless of such things as sexuality. Many of the visitors to the Pirate Party tent liked this attitude,. The Pirate Party claims that every individual has the need to have their privacy defended. The gay community, who has often been subjected to oppression, threats and violence, understands this need for privacy. If the Pirate Party had a slogan on the festival, it would have been, ‘Being gay, bi or transsexual should not be an issue. But no one should be forced to declare their sexuality either, should they choose not to.’
The aftermath, rounded up on a Pirate Party meeting I attended this thursday, was alot of positive reactions, probably a bunch of votes, public goodwill and alot of sold t-shirts and baseball caps.
posted by Mathias