Helsinki: Gay and Lesbian
Although Finland was slow to come up to date with the acceptance of gay culture (homosexuality was only decriminalized in 1971) they have now raced ahead of countries such as the UK, passing partnership laws in 2002.
The gay scene now flourishes in Helsinki, making it a good gay and lesbian holiday city. There’s a biannual pride parade, gay mag Voltti-magazine (widely available – it’s in Finnish, but the listings section is still helpful) and many gay and gay friendly establishments. For those who like to party no gay or lesbian holiday to Helsinki would be complete without a visit to northern Europe’s biggest gay and lesbian club, DTM (Don’t Tell Mamma).
If that’s not your style, then it’s helpful for the gay visitor to Helsinki to know that the hub of the gay scene lies around Eerikinkatu and the southern end of Mannerheimintie and is home to a variety of gay and gay friendly bars and clubs, some quiet, some definitely not. However, the savvy gay or lesbian holidaymaker knows that scenes evolve, so it’s always worth checking out forum sites such as http://ranneliike.net which will give you information in English on everything from sightseeing to the dates for Pride 2009. It also has a great English discussion board and good listings.