Stockholm is Burning – Why Stockholm is Right for You as an LGBT Student
By: Sebastian Andersson
LGBT and looking for somewhere exciting and welcoming to study? Stockholm might be your new best friend.
In the Swedish capital, being part of the LGBT community is as normal as anything else – in line with the city’s reputation for being open, welcoming and definitely international. Beyond the annual Pride festival, which quite literally brings every Stockholmer out of their house to take part in the celebrations all over the city, this Scandinavian jewel by the water offers a plethora of fun things to do throughout the year for anyone identifying as LGBT – and a daily rhythm where you’ll feel right at home.
In your day-to-day life as a student, you will notice that being LGBT is not a big deal, neither at your university nor in the city at large. Your daily life as an LGBT student will probably look just like anyone else’s – sipping coffee and eating cinnamon buns at one of the city’s many cafés, taking a tour of the newly renovated Nationalmuseum, or walking around the picturesque Djurgården – a lush island right in the middle of the city.
Many of Stockholm’s universities have LGBT groups on campus, but in a different way than what you would find on many North American or British campuses.
Sweden legalized gay marriage in 2009, and has a long history of being at the forefront of gay rights. Stockholmers in general are just a curious and welcoming bunch, and there are strong legal protections in place to make sure members of the LGBT community are not discriminated against – both at work and at universities. Many of Stockholm’s universities have LGBT groups on campus (see links in the footer), but in a different way than what you would find on many North American or British campuses. Student life just tends to be very integrated, and students organize themselves more commonly based on interests like politics or performance arts.
In contrast to many other European and North American metropoles, Stockholm does not have a defined gay village or street. Instead, gay spots are scattered around the city.
The same thing rings true in how Stockholmers like to party it up. If you are gay in Stockholm, you are probably as likely to end up going out with a mixed group of friends to a regular club, as you are going out to a gay club. In fact, many of the city’s most popular night spots are becoming increasingly queer – and certainly welcoming. In contrast to many other European and North American metropoles, Stockholm does not have a defined gay village or street. Instead, gay spots are scattered around the city. In summertime, people gather on the floating bar Mälarpaviljongen along the leafy Kungsholmen shore, or dance all night long (it honestly barely gets dark) at outdoors summer staple Trädgården. Year-round hotspots include the imposing Club Backdoor just south of the center, Södermalm’s King Kong, and the boat (yes, you heard me) Patricia, docked by the Södermalm shore with an unbeatable view of the city.
Stockholmers are not a judging bunch – it’s hard to when your surroundings are so beautiful. So, if you are LGBT and thinking about studying here – please come! We’d absolutely love to have you.
Examples of LGBT groups on campus