Open landscapes, open minds. Norway was among the first countries in the world to give equal rights to everyone, no matter who they love. In 2023, Oslo Pride will be celebrated on July 1st. This will be the 51st year we celebrate the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Norway.
Norway's largest LGBTIQ+ festival with concerts, art exhibitions,, films, parties, debates, and more. Oslo Pride lasts for ten days and consists of more than 150 small and large events.
Oslo Pride was first held in 1974. Although the festival has changed a lot since then, the message remains the same: openness and visibility are essential.
In fact, Norway ranks fourth among 49 European countries in the 2022 ILGA-Europe annual Rainbow Europe Map.
Today, same-sex couples have the same rights as heterosexual couples, including church weddings, adoption, and assisted pregnancies. The country is proud of its many openly gay and lesbian politicians and celebrities in sports and entertainment.
This has not always been the case. 2022 marked the 50th anniversary of the lifting of the ban on homosexuality in Norway.
"For me as a leader of FRI (The Norwegian Organisation for Sexual and Gender Diversity) it is important to look back with gratitude to those who pushed through that change in the law. Because it was hard work, and still is today. We need to continue to keep the pressure up," says Inge Alexander Gjestvang.
Inge Alexander Gjestvang
Explore a wealth of queer-friendly events
For travellers, it's nice to know that Norway is a welcoming country for the LGBTIQ+ community.
"I find that Norway is very good at making most things available to everyone. I rarely look up safe places to go, because most places are," says Majken Helén Evensen, Transformation Manager at Strawberry and Oslo Pride volunteer.
If you're looking for bars, venues and cultural events aimed specifically at a queer audience, most of them are found in the big cities like Oslo, Bergen, and Trondheim. Oslo Pride is a big annual event, attracting thousands of people, where human rights and LGBTIQ+ issues set the agenda through art, culture, politics – and parties.
"I think it's important that there are places where you can come as a queer person and feel you can relax. Both dedicated queer nightclubs and mainstream places have an inclusive policy," says Gjestvang, manager at FRI.
LGBTIQ+ friendly places can be found in cities like Stavanger, Tromsø and Bodø as well. Check out this quick guide to queer travel in Norway from locals:
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