Helsinki Pride Week begins, with PM Sanna Marin as patron

Events are being held mostly online or outside to allow maximum participation but still maintain good social distancing practices.

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Composition Helsinki Pride photo / Credit: News Now Finland

Helsinki Pride Week gets underway on Monday, postponed from its usual June date due to the coronavirus situation at that time.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) is the patron of this year’s events, the first time a PM has taken that role, with activities organised mainly online or outside to allow as many people to participate as possible, while still maintaining good social distancing practices.

“The government is committed to promoting the implementation of human rights in Finland. Both the standing and rights of sexual and gender minorities will be strengthened in the areas of legislation and service provision” says Marin in a statement.

“We will renew the trans law to comply with gender self-determination and improve the standing of intersex children. We will also widely amend legislation and structures to support equality and non-discrimination. Everyone has the right to a good, dignified life” she adds.

The Executive Director of Helsinki Pride Aaro Horsma says Marin is a “role model for many of us because of her background as well as her strong and empathetic leadership.” The Prime Minister has spoken about growing up in a ‘rainbow household’ where her mother had a same-sex partner.

File picture of rainbow flags at Pride parade / Credit: iStock

Pride Week programme 

There are dozens of events organised around the capital city including workshops on sexual rights and health; photo and cartoon exhibits; an event for gay video game enthusiasts; environmental events; dancing, cinema, music and drag; and events for seniors as well as young people, parents, asylum seekers and LGBTQ+ allies.

Organisers are urging people not to come to live events if they have any flu symptoms, and stress good hand hygiene and maintaining safe distances. Many of the events this year are being livestreamed as well to allow as wide a network of participants as possible.

The traditional Pride Parade – the culmination of events each year – is set to take place on Saturday 12th September but organisers have moved it online and encouraging people to host their own virtual Pride parades or hang a rainbow flag from their window.

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