What makes a city LGBTQI friendly? A wide range of queer bars and clubs, a unique LGBTQI council, rainbow coloured streets and trams or an open atmosphere?

Sweden in general is considered a very LGBT+ friendly destination – we were ranked the safest country in the world in the 2019 LGBTQ+ Danger Index. But perhaps it’s the combination of all these things that makes Gothenburg stand out, even here, among the LGBT+ community’s favourites. The non-profit organisation RFSL has named it the best LGBT+ city in Sweden, and the British LGBT Awards put it among it top 10 LGBT+ destinations.

“A fabulous all year-round escape for curious gay and lesbian travellers”
– British LGBT Awards 2018

A performance during West Pride.

West Pride and the rainbow coloured city

Gothenburg’s own pride festival West Pride has been around since 2007. The festival takes place in June every year and boasts hundreds of events, with the Rainbow parade as a given highlight.

– West Pride makes Gothenburg an even more open and inclusive city. The festival highlights LGBTQI persons’ lives through a norm critical approach to arts and culture, says Emma Percival at West Pride.

During the two weeks leading up to West Pride, all of Gothenburg sports rainbow colours on flags, trams, and more. The square Gustaf Adolfs torg is filled with the city’s own rainbow flags, and many comapnies and organisations join in the celebrations.

Gläntan, by Conny Karlsson Lundgren. Photo: Lo Birgersson

The LGBTQI+monument “Gläntan”

The monument “Gläntan” was created by the artist Conny Karlsson Lundgren and represents the fight for equal rights for LGBTQ+ people in Gothenburg, historically, today and in the future. It is based on a multitude of voices, experiences and stories, and many different artists, organizations and individuals have been involved in the project. The clearing consists of several parts that together form both a meeting place and a stage. One part consists of three pink layers of ground stone and concrete at different height levels. Each layer represents a room taken from Gothenburg’s LGBTQ+ history: the nightclub Touch which was located in RFSL’s premises on the square Esperantoplatsen during the 80s and 90s, the feminist collective “Högst upp” on the street Erik Dahlbergsgatan, which for many decades was a hub for women, lesbians, queer feminists and trans people, and the bedroom of “Josefin”, whose home on Södra vägen was a secret meeting place before homosexual acts were decriminalized in 1944.

Homofobiterapi logotype

Homophobiatherapy – a self-help therapy against trans-, bi- and homophobia

In 2019, West Pride launchef the initiative Homophobiarherapy – a self-help therapy in eight steps based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to counteract homo-, bi- and transphobia. Read more at homophobiatherapy.com and listen to the eigth steps on Spotify.

LGBTQI links

Reclaim Pride – pride festival at The Musuem of World Culture on August 23–24 2019

Misterb&b – book LGBT+I friendly accomodation

RFSL Göteborg – non-profit organisation that acts as a community and support group, as well as working with campaigns and public awareness

Newcomers – network for LGBT+ migrants and refugees

Mötesplats Simone – non-profit organisation for women and people on the trans spectrum between 13 and 30

Transammans Väst – organisation for transgender people and their families, that arranges social events and support groups

Lesbisk Frukost Göteborg – in Swedish “Lesbian Breakfast Gothenburg”, breakfasts focusing on lesbianity at Frilagret

Queer Angle – podcast and community for LGBT+ people and their allies

Gothenburg Queer Lindy Festival – lindyhop festival without heteronormative roles

StandOut Travel – an LGBT+ travel and wedding agency, arranging guided tours, private tours, business trips, weddings and events

Queerkalendern Göteborg – Instagram account that guides to LGBT+ events in Gothenburg

Salong Qlipp – hairdressers who cut queer people’s hair for free

Homan Göteborg – LGBTQI association for immigrants

House of Colors – meeting place on Hisingen for young LGBT+ people

Queer Up! – queer separatist group who arrange various activities

LGBTQ Students Gothenburg – for LGBT+ students at the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology

EKHO – organistion for Christian LGBT+ people

Kulturhuset Oceanen – Cultural center, stage and pub. Don’t miss their award-winning literary program series, The Queer Gaze