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Skövde Pride - where everyone can participate and is of equal value

During Skövde Pride a few years ago, Maria met a person who was both bound and unhappy. After attending Pride, a transformation had taken place.

- They told me afterwards that "finally I felt like I fit in somewhere", says Maria Jern, organizer of Pride in Skövde. Being able to help these individuals is one of the reasons why I am able to continue. All love is beautiful love.

Skövde Pride

Basically, all people need to feel safe and included in order to dare to be their authentic selves. This was something that Maria Jern, a proud mother and grandmother, picked up from her childhood and passed on to her daughters.

Maria has long been involved in Pride issues; she began her involvement with LGBTQIA 15 years ago, when her daughter came out. Maria was involved in starting Skövde Pride in 2015, and today, in 2023, she is the only one of the original gang left. Before her involvement in Skövde Pride, she has also been Pridehouse manager and HR manager for Stockholm Pride. She has participated in Stockholm Pride several times, but says that she is passionate about the smaller festivals where the mentality in the smaller towns is very different compared to the larger ones.

- In big cities it is more 'obvious' what Pride represents, but in a smaller city there is more prejudice, more exclusion, and more people are invisible, so there is an important job we have to do as allies. We also have to preserve the rights that we have been fighting for. I am a small cog in making it easier, I want to help people feel that they can be themselves. I want my grandchild to have the rights that exist today and hopefully more in the future," says Maria.

The goal of Pride and developments in Skövde

Awareness of Pride has increased as human rights have become more threatened around the world, so it is essential that the public sector stands up for human rights and is inclusive.

- Skövde has really stepped up since the first Pride festival in 2015 - this year you are invited from the beginning. Everyone is so incredibly committed and there have been so many hills before, but there is such a drive and strength both here in Skövde and in the outside world that is incredibly exciting!

After the first Pride festival in 2015, the festival went on for a couple of years, but when the pandemic came, it was not possible to carry out Pride as usual, and people lost their energy and desire. Maria says that she thinks it was good to have a break, because they had time to really think about what they had learned, and what experiences they have gained and what can be done better.

Rainbow Week

Between 23-30 September, the Rainbow Week is arranged here in Skövde. Regnbågsveckan is a week when everyone can come as they are, where everyone should be able to participate regardless of gender identity. There will be a full program with many activities signed in the sign of love. These include rainbow bingo, musical theater about Judy Garland, and story reading for young children. There is something for everyone. Of course, there will also be a Pride parade!

Do you want to take part in the Pride parade? Come as you are, bring whoever you want - everyone is welcome!

The more the merrier!

Skövde Pride Cuba

Maria Jern and pride artist of the year Kuba Jasiecki

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