North Karelia Pride Parade in Joensuu 2022. Picture by Henri Jumppanen

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The Finnish summer is set to host an array of pride events in towns and cities across the country with over 40 events planned. These events are organized by various members of Seta and other groups dedicated to supporting and uplifting sexual and gender minorities. Seta’s chairman Pekka Rantala describes the importance of Pride events as creating important spaces for LGBTQIA+ individuals to be seen and heard within their own communities.

The upcoming events include parades, picnics, info and discussion sessions, family-friendly events, professional training sessions, and pride masses.

According to Rantala, Pride is fundamentally a demonstration for human equality and rights. While these rights are not fully realized in Finland for sexual and gender minorities, discrimination is still prevalent across all sectors. Rantala emphasizes the need for Prides to continue until equality and equity are fully realized for all LGBTQIA+ individuals, even in small towns and villages.

Pride events have been gaining popularity in smaller towns and villages over the years, highlighting the need to support and empower sexual and gender minorities regardless of location. Rantala emphasizes that the promotion and protection of the rights of sexual and gender minorities are important everywhere. Additionally, while the display of flags may be a visible symbol of support, it is crucial to actively promote human rights and equality in everyday life.

This year's events will start with the Pohjois-Karjala Pride on May 15-21 in Joensuu, and the Karkkila Pride Piknik on May 17. Most events will take place in June, which is known internationally as Pride Month. The selected themes for these events reflect the current global climate and relevant human rights issues.

The Finnish government and local authorities have a legal obligation to actively promote equality and equity for sexual and gender minorities. Thus, it is imperative that Pride events continue to provide safe and empowering spaces for individuals to express themselves, and also that governments and local authorities work to create inclusive communities that protect the rights of everyone, including sexual and gender minorities.

In conclusion, the upcoming pride events in Finland aim to create safe and inclusive spaces for individuals from all walks of life. As Pride Month approaches, it is essential to emphasize that the promotion and protection of human rights and equality should be a continuous effort, not limited to designated days or events.

HT

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