Welcome to Copenhagen 2021, the most significant LGBTI+ event in 2021 combining WorldPride, EuroGames, an eclectic arts and culture program, and an historic LGBTI+ human rights forum. And #YouAreIncluded!
For decades Denmark has been amongst the most progressive nations in the world for LGBTI+ equality. We decriminalised homosexuality in 1933. Gender confirmation surgery first took place here in 1951. We introduced anti-discrimination legislation in 1987 and two years later legalised same-sex partnerships. More recently, in 2014, we became the first country to allow a legal change of gender without requiring prior medical approval, and in 2017 were the first to remove being transgender from the list of mental illnesses. We know Denmark has further to go but equality and human rights are in our DNA.
Sweden is also known as one of the most progressive countries in the world for LGBTI+ rights. We decriminalised homosexuality in 1944. In 1972, Sweden became the first country in the world to legally allow sex reassignment surgery. Discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression became illegal in 1987. More recently, in 2013, the requirement of sterilisation to change one’s legal gender was abolished. What makes Sweden one of the most LGBTI-friendly countries is that people continue to press for further improvements in LGBTI+ equality.
Our host organisations Copenhagen Pride and Pan Idræt came together to form Happy Copenhagen, the organisation that delivered Copenhagen 2021. The organisation came to an end in December 2021, and you can read our full report here.
Twenty-five years after the first Copenhagen Pride, we hosted WorldPride to celebrate and advocate for LGBTI+ equality worldwide. We brought thousands of LGBTI+ people to Copenhagen and Malmö (in Sweden, just a 20 minute journey across the iconic Øresund Bridge) for the most important LGBTI+ event ever held in Scandinavia.
Almost two thousand athletes joined us to participate in the most diverse EuroGames ever, with tournaments taking place in 22 different sports. Tournaments were open to spectators, and visitors could also take part in the ‘Sports to the People’ program of ‘drop-in’ sports including Drag Olympics, roller-skating, bicycle workshops and rainbow family sports.
The Sports Leader Conference empowered LGBTI+ sports groups to foster more inclusivity, and the Sports Village at Islands Brygge was an open space for people to meet, engage in street sports, celebrate achievements and watch on big screens.
Arts & Culture
Across both cities the Arts & Culture program included more than 100 events and four spaces curated by our own team:
- Fluid Festival was a space for embracing the fluidity within gender identity, expression and sexuality
- Arcadia, a relaxed meeting space at Rådhushaven, the city hall garden just away from the hustle and bustle of the WorldPride Square
- Huset 2021 Main House and Front Yard, a space where young people are the centre of attention
- Rainbow Children @ BLOX, a space for breaking the binary in the most playful way for children and their families
- WorldPride House in Malmö was an interactive space where lectures were mixed with workshops, courses and DIY-activities. Social spaces invited visitors to hang out and ‘just be’. Various pop-up exhibits will be available to all visitors in different parts of the house. In the evenings, several of the lecture halls were be transformed into party rooms.
Human Rights Forum
The Human Rights Forum included an opening event at UN City, a three-day Human Rights Conference at Øksnehallen, a five-day public participation event based on the Danish ‘Folkemødet’, an Assembly for parliamentarians at Christiansborg Palace, and a Summit on Refugees, Borders and Immigration taking place in Malmö.
#YouAreIncluded … and invited!
Through these four pillars of our event we aimed to show that no matter who you love or how you identify, #YouAreIncluded at Copenhagen 2021.