A while ago, I had a conversation with my boyfriend that stayed with me. He’s American, and just recently moved in with me in my Stockholm apartment, having lived in New York City for eight years. As I started showing him the city, I was intrigued to hear his reactions. He seemed surprised. Where were all the gay bars? Why did I seem less comfortable engaging in PDA on the subway in Stockholm than he does in New York? And where exactly, if Stockholm is so gay, were the drag queens? Stockholm’s gay scene seemed poorer than my boyfriend had expected. Did he as a foreigner think I was living in some kind of gay utopia?
It wouldn’t be strange. Hell, Wikipedia’s page on the subject starts off with “LGBT rights in Sweden have been regarded as some of the most progressive in Europe and in the world.” But what does that actually mean for queer life? Granted, Stockholm is much smaller than New York. Still, I wondered: how would an LGBTQ tourist visiting the city perceive it? And what would help them make a more informed travel choice?
Here is what every LGBTQ tourist visiting Stockholm should know.