How to successfully navigate the LGBT+ scene in Stockholm

By: Elif Emma True

Moving to Stockholm for me is, in many ways, a queer haven. As discussed previously in our article “Stockholm is Burning – Why Stockholm is Right for You as an LGBT Student”, Sweden is well-known for its progressive thinking on LGBT+ rights. However, being LGBT+ and going anywhere else can be daunting especially when trying to locate the inevitable ‘cool’ underground queer scene.

“In England where I moved from, I endured commuting to other cities to find even a single gay bar so if you’re from a small university town like me, Stockholm’s vibrant gay vibe is a treat.”

An important queer aspect of Stockholm is that LGBT+ events can seem quite segregated as queer women only/ queer men only events happen often at popular events. Therefore, I will do my best to detail some top tips as a queer woman on how to socialise with other queer people in the scene in Stockholm.

Go to Moxy (and other mainstream queer spaces):

Moxy has hosted many events for queer women taking place every few months in different trendy venues.

Their event I went to took place at the scenic top floor of the Fotografiska, a photographic museum that occasionally moonlights as a lesbian bar.

The music is varied so the dancing never gets boring, it’s a great night for dancing with friends and trying to socialise with other queer women. Speaking personally, it was an unforgettable very-queer and very-Swedish experience, and I had such an enjoyable time there. Therefore, I would recommend looking up Moxy events, Club Backdoor and get into the mindset that a gay event can take place outside of gay bar or club.

Elif at Moxy with friends

Tinder is your good friend:

I know it’s a bit embarrassing and very 2016, but Tinder is your friend if you’re queer in Stockholm.

The pleasant lack of emphasis put on sexual identity in Sweden can make identifying that cute girl you met at a house party as queer even more difficult than expected. The stereotype that Swedes are shy when it comes to dating does extend to gay women (in my experience) so finding people on dating apps is a must. Don’t be afraid to use Bumble for Friends (Bumble BFF) if you’re already taken and looking for some queer friends. But just so I can sleep at night, please be careful about who you meet online and always tell a friend you’re going on a date.

Dress like yourself:

As a femme presenting queer woman, I often found it difficult to ‘present gay’ so other queer women could identify me without the awkward gay signalling question “have you seen Blue Is the Warmest Colour?”. However, Stockholm is the perfect place to present however you want to present in a sexually fluid, liberated city. As our mother RuPaul says, We’re all born naked and the rest is drag.

So, put on your dancing shoes, turn up Robyn and head out in Stockholm’s legendary gay scene!