This feed contains the 10 most recent pages in the "europride2008" category.

Stockholm Pride 2008 is also Europride 2008, and is the first Pride event I attend to. So I've chosen this tag for entries where I tell my Pride story.

Pride is over, things are settling down, we're all tired (I stayed home from work today, being incredibly tired) and in need of rest. Actually, in the last couple of Pride days, Charlie and I decided to have a very calm next weekend, cooking good food, watching some movies and just being, together.

The Pride has definitely left traces in me. I had decided that I would mainly spend time experiencing it this year, not get too involved in the work. Still, I ended up being a poly tent host and taking part in the parade, which was more than I had expected a few months ago. And as early as monday or tuesday, I started feeling like I was right at home. These are my peers, I share quite a number of values and views around sexuality, love and respect with them, and I stopped counting the number of times I said "YES" in my head quite early. I wept in recognition a number of times.

I know that I want to contribute more to the poly section for next year. I've ideas that I need to write down. Charlie has some as well (I think we share some ideas ;-)).

Seeing myself grow from somewhat passively looking around to getting in front and showing myself, from wondering what this experience would be for me to feeling proud about who I am in this context, from feeling a bit shy to stand up for myself, that's quite something, and it's very encouraging. Encouraging in more ways than one, I "came out" to 5 coworkers yesterday, and the conversation that followed was quite a good and respectful one all in all, even though lightly sparkled with the expected standard package of stupid jokes, but hey, people will always react to the things they aren't used to, this is nothing new...

Through all this, my connection with Charlie has most definitely grown, and I know she's sensed it too, because she talked about this as a bonding experience, and it surely has been. I can't really say exactly how, but it's obvious our relationship has deepened even more over last week.
Gawds I love that woman!

The story with Åsa that ran alongside all this seems to have taken a new, somewhat deeper direction as well, but it's yet to be determined what that will really lead to...

Finally, and this is something I've just mentioned it a little here and there, there's a connection with Jenny (who lives in Australia), although it runs over limited time, and is thereby a pretty different experience. I have never been in a loving connection that I knew beforehand would have an end and exactly when that end is. Somehow, although I could never have imagined it like this, it feels very easy, and I've simply settled to enjoy whatever there is to enjoy in the moment that we have and will then gladly and lovingly (although probably with a tear) see her go away, maybe never to meet again.
So far, we've enjoyed some cuddly moments and moments of good talk and understanding. It's all good.

You know, although I'm damn tired today, I also feel LIFE! It really is all good.

Posted Aug 5, 2008 10:04:33 PM +0200 | Tags: europride2008

Parade day!

I find it interesting to observe myself regarding this. A week ago, I was unsure if I was going to participate at all. In the middle of this week, I thought I would and stay fairly anonymous somewhere in the middle of the poly section... And what did I end up doing, if not happily fronting the section with a few others?

Before the parade started moving and we were all assembled in Humlegården, it was pouring. Not just raining, but really pouring and we were wondering how this would happen. Charlie told us that this is just wrong, the Pride Parade always has a shining sun!

We were lucky, though, the rain stopped as we started walking and we got all the way to Hornsgatan before the rain started again, fortunately much more lightly this time.

I spent the rest of the evening in the park, partly in the poly tent and partly in the bi tent. Åsa and F showed up in the bi tent and spent a little bit of time with us.

The evening ended in the poly tent, cuddling and playing a game with those who were there, Charlie, Jenny, Fredrik, Sam, Kip, ... before Charlie and I went home.

Posted Aug 5, 2008 2:09:40 PM +0200 | Tags: europride2008

Today I was quite ambivalent, I had a hard time deciding what to do. My earlier plan had been to participate in the jealousy workshop in Pride Park together with Åsa and F, but since they had gone to it already yesterday and decided not to show up there last night, I had no real reason to be there (and frankly, I gave up on seeing them, but that's another story), and there were some interesting seminars today.

So, this is what Charlie and I ended up planning, just hours before leaving home:

  • 13:30 - 14:50. Sex Positive Queer Spaces This was a presentation about creating open and queer spaces for sexual exploration in a safe environment, with Klub Fukk in London as an example.
  • 14:30 - 16:00. Grassroot movements in southern Africa A panel and forum about the situation for LGBT people in Uganda, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa and the challenges they're facing.
  • 16:15 - 17:45. Sexuality without limits A panel and forum about dildos, trans, public sex, slutiness, bodies, norms and limits. Are there limits for what's private or are our sexual actions politics?
  • 20:00 - xx:xx. Couples dances, starting with Queer Tango.

Off we went! We came well in time and there was loads of space for the first seminar. A very interesting seminar, and it was interesting to hear more about how Klub Fukk works, how it's very much based on mutual respect with a sense of experimenting while being safe. I ended up wanting to go to London :-).
Also, among the presenters was a man who I would never have thought was a FtM, my jaw dropped with a thud when I realised it (well, he said it plain and clear, but the hints came just before). And a gorgous man he is!

After that Charlie and I realised that we needed a break and wanted to just relax for a bit, so we went to the roof, where there's a terrace and a café. Moments after we got our coffee and carrot cake (mmmmm, carrot cake!!!!!), we got an SMS from Åsa saying that she and F were leaving Pride House to go to the Park. AAAAH! An SMS exchange later and they turned back to come up to the café. Apparently, they had left the café just before we got there! Talk about crossing paths. Anyway, we finally finally finally got to see them.

Later on, while Åsa and F went off doing I can't recall what, Charlie and I went to the last seminar, which was quite interesting, talking about being openly sexual and the politics or politicising made around it. It was thought provoking.

As planned, the day ended with a lovely soft dinner followed by an evening of dance.

Posted Aug 2, 2008 1:59:00 AM +0200 | Tags: europride2008

[rewritten 2008-08-05]

I had written up a few seminars, but considering I'd partied until the wee hours, it wasn't realistic in any way or form...

There were still some important things:

  • 14:00 - xx:xx. Poly picknick. I'm not missing this for the world, colds stay away :-)! There are a few people who I know I'll get to connect with there and then if at no other time. This will be held outside the Pride Park itself, so people who aren't interested in the rest of Pride can still join in... not that Pride Park itself lends itself for picknicks anyway ;-).
  • 17:00 - 19:00, 20:30 - 22:30. Schlager evening. This is a very popular event in the gay community in Stockholm (or Sweden?). I expect I'll reconnect with a number of gay friends I haven't mentioned yet. An evening of fun!

That's it? That's it!

Oh, there was a last minute proposal to have a poly grilling party starting somewhere around 19... I never went to that.

Actually, this day ended up being even simpler than the wednesday one... Imagine that!

Aaaaanyway... This day started late, as usual. Charlie and I went to the picknick, where we first found smilla together with two of her loves. Soon enough, a lot of the usual crowd (Karin, Kristine, Fabian, Karin, ...) as well as a number of people I'd never met before (I finally got to meet two more of Charlie's sweeties, Anders and Valentin, who I had heard a bit about for a while) joined in and we simply enjoyed time together.
At some point, smilla summoned the courage to come around a lot of people and approach me with the words "I want to talk with him!", and a nice although short talk we had.
I left a little before 17:00 to join Charlie for the Schlager evening (Charlie had left an hour earlier to be the host of the bi tent for an hour).

The Schlager evening was lots of fun, dancing and singing along as much as was possible in the crowd. I didn't reconnect with those other friends, oh well.

[there will be more added when I remember more]

Posted Jul 29, 2008 10:33:02 PM +0200 | Tags: europride2008

[rewritten 2008-08-05]

Wednesday was among the simplest of my days:

  • 12:00 - 12:45. 'You can't really ask them if they're gay, can you?' A seminar about how it is for personel in hospitals, among others, when they meet people today and do not know how to relate. I'm currently not entirely sure I'm going, as I'm also a bit involved in the poly tent and want to help out.
  • 14:00 - 19:00. I'll be a host at the poly tent, together with Kristine and Angelica.
  • 22:00 - the wee hours. Party! SLM and LASH are organising a night together for all to participate in, no dress code. Going there with Charlie, and perhaps others?

This was a pretty damn soft day. I ended up not going to the seminar at 12, I had a lazy morning instead and went directly to the park at 14. On the way there, I met a young woman with incredibly beautiful wrap-around pants, black with yellow-orange flames along the bottom (there's another variant of hot for ya :-)), commented on them and we ended up chatting the whole way to the park where we parted ways.

In the tent itself, nothing much happened really. A little bit of organizing, and oh, yeah, Helena Meyer showed up with a whole bunch of comic strips, both her own and others. I mostly ended up talking with both Kristine and Angelica about fetish/BDSM, since that was the experience for the night.

I've heard later that Åsa had turned up somewhere in the day. It must have been when I went shopping some food for Kristine and myself. Damn!

There was more happening, a number of friends showing up, I do remember Jenny, Kip, Karin and goooorgeous Johanna with her hubby.

The party? It was interesting and more exciting than I expected. Someone said I was like a fish in water, and yeah, I enjoyed myself.

Posted Jul 29, 2008 10:22:33 PM +0200 | Tags: europride2008

[rewritten 2008-07-29 in the evening]

Can you tell that I've planned quite a lot? Charlie and I spent a few hours last sunday going through the whole guide, picking and choosing what we would do, planning some bits we'd go to together and others that is our own, and how we relate to different things in there and how we relate to each other in this whole thing with all our ideas. It was a lovely Sunday to have.

Aaaaanyway, the plan for today was this:

  • 07:00 - 11:00. Laundry. No, that's nothing to do with Pride ;-), but I'm wondering how the hell I'm going to stay up the whole day! Maybe I'll find some time to snooze a little, for half an hour or so, say...
  • 12:00 - 13:30. Mom-dad-child A seminar about how to be with the kids as a queer parent. It seems interesting, and it conflicts with...
  • 12:00 - 12:45. Poly 101 - Curious poly A beginners guide to being poly. Can't say I'm exactly a beginner, but it could be interesting to hear what's being said and what kinds of questions will come up. That also conflicts with...
  • 12:00 - 12:45. Activist entrepreneurship How to be an entrepreneur and do it with your queer activism/queerness at heart. This could be very interesting, aaaaaand... I think this is where my priority goes.
  • 13:00 - 13:45. Living in Sin FAQ A panel on being poly in practice. I think I'll prioritise this, as there are practical points that I might yet be new to.
  • 14:00 - 15:00. Theatre: QAOS A show by young queer activists. Why not go to a show in the middle of all? Have some fun in a serious day? Although...
  • 14:15 - 15:15. Svart är en färg man kan bli sjuk av... This is a seminar about jealousy. While my own jealousy is very small to none, I still have to deal with jealousy among my peers or, as the case is, the jealousy in a love's partner, and it could be good for me to have a greater understanding for something that is in part a mystery to me.
  • 15:15 - 16:15. Aspiequeer This is a MUST. I've an aspie brother, I've a possibly aspie son and I've a growing number of aspie friends, many of them queer one way or another. I want to understand them better.
  • 16:00 - 16:30. Music: Räuberhöhle 'A one-grrrl band which is Krawalla and her doll friends. Manga-pop and disco mixed with happy hardcore in a chockingly pink mix!' Yeah, again, why not a little bit of fun in between serious stuff?
  • 16:30 - 17:30. Acts of Translation A panel about queer feminist, post-colonial and anti-capitalist analysis and activism in America and Sweden.
  • 16:45 - 17:45. When the boundaries of the genders collapse We see more trans activities these days. What is a human body and where are the limits?
  • 17:00 - 18:00. Show: Girls, Girls, Girls A celebration of Femme!

The day started early for me. Someone will have to explain to me why I woke up at sodding 04:40! But anyway, it made it easy to have a slow transition to the laundry time, and that was kind of nice. I just hope that I'll sleep a little longer tomorrow, because I'm planning on going to a party late at night, and I need to store up on some sleep to be able to!

Laundry done, I was about to change into what I was going to wear today (same as yesterday except a white tank top) when I got an SMS from Charlie, saying she was better and was on her way to Pride House. Woohoo!

Arriving there, a little bit late, I went to Activist entrepreneurship seminar... or so I thought, the place was packed and they couldn't let me in, they weren't allowed to. So fine, I went to Poly 101 - Curious poly instead, and I don't regret it. I hadn't seen too much of Kip earlier, really, but seeing him and listening speaking at that seminar left me touched. This is a man who's thought it out quite well, or so it seems to me, and there's one part I'd like to mention specially, because it answers the obvious questions about jealousy and competition quite well. The way he sees it, his partners' partners (also often called bonus partners, by the way) aren't competitors, they are collaborators. He enjoys being buddies with his bonus partners. He enjoys ganging up together and make little surprises for a common partner. Isn't it beautiful? And if anyone would ask me "how does that work", I think the straightest answer would be "marvelously".

I reconnected with Charlie after that seminar, stuck around for a bit and got to chat with a few of her friends, and then we simply stuck around listening to Living in Sin FAQ. The panel presented two things, one being about having kids in a poly setting (presented by lovely Jenny that I mentioned in yesterday's entry), the other being about staying in a relationship while moving apart (presented by Kristine and Gabriel). I'll confess that I was more focused on Jenny's part. An interesting thing she started with was the opinion that all humans are born poly, and she's basing that on observation and studies of children. The conclusion is that children love naturally, but through "socialisation", they are basically taught NOT to love (more than one), which is a controlled suppresion/oppresion if natural emotions. She told us a lot about how it was for her, but also all the things she observed in her three daughters as well as their friends, with a lot of positivity in all of it. And all of this happens because she and her husband haven't behaved as if poly would be anything weird, rather the contrary, as the most natural thing in the world!
Somewhere in the middle of this, Charlie asked me with a smile if I was a little smitten with Jenny, and I answered that I was :-).

After this, I was quite a bit hungry, and so was Jenny, so we went having a bite in the nearby café as we were both going to the Svart är en färg man kan bli sjuk av... seminar, which happened in the same place as the previous two. Charlie had her heart set on Theatre: QAOS, so she went off.

Svart är en färg man kan bli sjuk av... was held by Anna, and she based what she had to say upon a number of intervews she had conducted with people on this very matter. There were quite a lot of different stories, mostly about what it could look like. Not really any new information in the matter for me, but it was good to get a little sense of who she was, because I'm going to take part in the workshop on the matter that she will hold on friday. The most fun was actually to translate the little bits that Jenny didn't understand (did I say she's from Australia?).

Directly after that seminar, I rushed to get to the Aspiequeer one... to find a looooong line. Charlie joined in with me as she's interested in the matter as well, but after being in that slowly moving line for a while, we were told it was packed and they weren't allowed to take in more people... How frustrating! Is this the day to get overfilled rooms or what?

So oh well, Charlie and I hung around for a bit, went searching for the exhibit of Femme pictures, didn't find it, went to the temporary shop and checked things out there, had a brief encounter with Ylva Maria Thompson, then found the lost exhibit and spent some time looking at some gorgous pictures! After a bit more time, it was time for me to join with Jenny and guide her to Pride Park to join with Kip and a few others. We spent a few hours setting up the poly tent, and sometimes Jenny and I spent a moment kissing or cuddling (or all of us ending up in a great lovely group hug :-)).

It's about 22:00 now, and I'm home, letting the day sink in with all the impressions and emotions, trying to get ready for the next. I'm also realising that I may need to rethink my schedule so I've space to spend time with people, and there are a number of them I want to connect with. So little time, so many people! :-)

Posted Jul 29, 2008 10:47:56 AM +0200 | Tags: europride2008

I had my schedule filled, it basically consisted of this:

  • 11:45 - 12:00. Opening.
  • 13:00 - 13:45. Firstly Asexual, Secondly Heterosexual about the difficulties people with disabilities encounter out there with regards to their sexuality.
  • 13:30 - 14:30. BDSM and discrimination Can you open up about your interest anywhere? Will it get you fired from work? ...
  • 14:00 - 15:00. Alternative to the mono norm An open panel where polyamorous and relationship anarchy [my name for it, which is a direct translation of the Swedish "Relationsanarki", and the page I point to is in Swedish] is being presented, talked about, discussed.
  • 14:00 - 14:45. Coming out - to and for who? A panel of people telling different stories about coming out.
  • 15:00 - 15:45. Both/either or A seminar about bisexuality and being bisexual.
  • 17:15 - 17:45. Perverse and proud of it Tiina Rosenberg will hold a speach about being queer.
  • 20:00 - 22:00. Open soccer training with Stockholm Snipers

So what did I end up doing?

I went to the opening, where sound quality was horrible, unfortunately, but I found a few friends, Fredrik, Karin, Kristine, and met a new person, Emmanuel (friend of Fredrik's).

After that, I used the free time to shop some clothes, came back to Pride House and had myself a small snack and ended up exchanging greetings with Ulf Schyldt and then went on to the Firstly Asexual, Secondly Heterosexual seminar. That was quite an interesting seminar that talks about the history of how people with disabilities have been regarded from a sexual standpoint. Have you realised that people with disabilities were regarded as asexual, not a long time ago? Can you say ableism? But then, when you get past that first hurdle, the next thing is to hit upon the assumption of heterosexuality...

Aaaaanyway, after that seminar, I walked around and was approached by a young lady who came from and said she was doing a photo clip/slide show with "cool styles at Pride" and wondered if she could take a picture of me. I took the flattery and thought that this could be fun, so I went along with it.

Shortly after that, I found a bunch of friends again, some of those I had already met earlier, and Gabriel, Kip, and another new person, Jenny, who's a friend of Charlie's and Kip's and who I've heard quite a bit about (and, I realised, yet very little!) and had wanted to meet for quite a while! Yay!

We ended up all chatting for a while and I didn't go to the BDSM and discrimination seminar, but you know, I'm not too sad about that. Instead, I went to the Coming out - to and for who?, and it was quite interesting for a bit. I found it interesting that they had quite a diverse panel, among others the father of a girl who had come out as lesbian, and it was interesting to hear his story and the fact that when a child has come out, the parents have their own "coming out" process, and to hear a little about that. They did a pretty cool thing to start the seminar; the whole panel "came out" with fairly banal things, such as having a cold, which illustrated that while it feels like a big deal, it's really only because social norm says that coming out as gay, bi, homosexual, poly, whatever is unusual, unaccepted, weird, controversial... There was also the question if one really has to come out, and for what reason; the conclusion felt a bit obvious, that it was for oneself, not so much for the others.

After a bit, I got tired of the coming out seminar and moved over to Alternative to the mono norm and ended up being a bit fascinated, mostly because I got to listen to some relational anarchists and got a little different perspective on it than before...

At this point, there were a number of us wondering what we'd do next and some being a bit hungry, that became the focus, and I totally forgot about the Both/either or seminar, which is kind of a pity since that belongs with fairly new discoveries about myself, but on the other hand, I'm quite sure the opportunities for discoveries will not end. Plus, while chatting and deciding what we all would do, I got a nice hug and a kiss from Jenny, which was very nice though a bit unexpected after having chatted for, oh I think it's about half an hour in total? A short while later, Kip, Jenny, Karin and I went eating and got to know each other a little better, telling each other about little bits of our respective lives. Nice :-). Then Kip and Jenny went shopping, and Karin and I kept each other company and talked, mostly about dancing since that's one of her favorite things in life, while waiting for the time to go to the Perverse and proud of it seminar... unfortunately, we came there too late, the place was packed way in advance, ...

Eventually, I went shopping some boots and went home, exhausted and yet having a long, important and dearly needed talk with Åsa. But that's a different story...

Posted Jul 29, 2008 9:55:04 AM +0200 | Tags: europride2008

Yesterday and today, the main part of Europride is the gazillion seminars on all kinds of related matters, or shows, or... going on in Pride House. I've sign myself up for a number of those seminars, and basically have a pretty filled schedule from 12 to 18.

Yesterday, though, I ended up being busy talking with people, some that I know as well as new encounters, so I missed half the seminars I had signed myself up for. Yet, I can't say that I missed much.

So what's important, really? The seminars or the people I get to meet? I guess time will tell. Today will probably be a bit different, there are more seminars that I really don't want to miss.

Either way, I'm having a grand time.

My biggest wish now is that Charlie's start of a cold blows over quickly (maybe even today?) so she can join in as well.

Posted Jul 29, 2008 6:27:21 AM +0200 | Tags: europride2008

I was there, it was fun and it was emotionally moving, with some great speakers!

After it was all ended, I found a dear friend among the public in the back. Merry meet, 'cause I wasn't sure when he was going to be up in Stockholm!

Anyway, a picture says more than a 1000 words.

Posted Jul 27, 2008 1:00:00 AM +0200 | Tags: europride2008

Stockholm/Euro Pride is nearing and I'm getting a bit excited, as this is the first time I'll attend (and help out as well). Got the ticket already!

Damn, there's a number of things to do and to handle, and it seems like I've a number of friends have decided to come for a visit to Stockholm at the same time. I really need to sort it all out so I don't get overwhelmed!

Let's see, I've a friend from Malmö that comes up to visit, I've tagged July 24th for him if he wants to hang out with me then. Åsa is coming up with a love from Malmö. smilla has just declared that she's coming as well. Oh, and I just got the news that another friend is visiting, from South Africa (he's lived in Sweden for a large number of years but moved back to SA not long ago).

I'll have my social life filled, let me tell ya! Anyway, I hope it'll be fun. I just hope I'll have some breathing space too ;-).

So, what do I plan to do, really? Uhmm, check out the cultural side in the beginning of pride, go to a number of seminars (mostly about polyamory, but I've seen a few more on political issues and one about the issues with being aspie and queer (!)), and mingle at Pride Park when I don't help out in the Poly tent or elsewhere.

But hey, it's still more than a week away, plans will firm up as time goes, and I do want to spend time with Charlie as well, never to be forgotten.

Posted Jul 15, 2008 4:39:01 PM +0200 | Tags: europride2008

To see all of them, check the archive-europride2008.

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