Community history

1970s and 1980s

SETA - LGBTI Rights in Finland, was founded in 1974. The anniversary of the founding of SETA was celebrated in May, and in the spirit of the gay liberation movement it was named Liberation Day. In the beginning Liberation Day was a series of protests, held on the stairs of the Parliament or right next to it. These protests called for equal rights for sexual and gender minorities and opposed discrimination. The first big protest march was held in 1981. Liberation Day grew into a four day event culminating annually on Saturday with the parade, park picnic and evening party.

1990s and 2000s

Helsinki Pride Community, then Helsingin seudun Seta, was founded in 1990 and officially registered on 1.2.1991. Organizing Liberation Day in Helsinki became the responsibility of Helsinki Pride Community as SETA formed into a central organisation of LGBT associations. In the 1990s Liberation Day turned more festive with colourful balloons, props and banners dotting the parade.

In the new Millenium the parade was officially named Pride, and the first official Helsinki Pride Week was celebrated in 2000. Since 2006 Pride has been organised every year. In 2008 Helsinki Pride Community, “coming of age”, moved into its own offices in the old industrial area of Suvilahti. By 2010 activities were organised by a group of volunteers and a part time social worker.


In 2012 Helsinki Pride Community moved to Kaapelitehdas. The same year saw the first pride event for young people. Youth Pride was organised specifically for younger LGBTQIA+ generations, though Pride Week had always featured youth specific activities too. In 2014 Helsinki Pride Community received its first grant to fund a youth work development project, which, together with youth services in the metropolitan area, piloted targeted activities for LGBTIQA+ youth. In the following years our staff grew supported by project funding. Helsinki Pride Community was the first organisation in Finland to offer targeted professional support to LGBTQIA+ youth as well as people seeking asylum in Finland through the Together With Pride activities.

Today Helsinki Pride is the first and foremost cultural and human rights event in Finland, and one of the biggest summer events in Helsinki. Its roots in Liberation Day are still visible, and when it comes to the Pride parade, protesting is just as important as having fun. In keeping with the spirit of Pride, despite the growing numbers of party goers, the evening event remains open and free to all.

The number of the Helsinki Pride parade goers has grown in leaps: in 2017 about 35 000 people took to the streets, a year later the count neared 100 000. Today Pride week consists of events by over a hundred different organisers. Each day of the week Youth Pride, now a whole concept of its own, brings hundreds of young people together in various events. Helsinki Pride is still very much a volunteer production with over a hundred volunteers working in different roles. In addition to staff and volunteers the event is made possible by a large group of supporters, members and allies of the LGBTQIA+ community as well as different organisations and companies.  

With our year-round cooperation, social and youth work as well as events and training we support and advance the well-being and rights of LGBTQIA+ people – and change the world with Pride! 

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We exist so no one is left alone. We work to advance the rights, inclusion and wellbeing of sexual and gender minorities. Read more about our work and history.
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