Across the world, LGBTI+ people continue to face discrimination, hate and violence and in many places it is getting worse. China, Hungary, Brazil, Poland, Ghana and Georgia are just some of the countries where, in 2021, there were increased crackdowns on LGBTI+ people and rollbacks on their rights. In addition, we have seen an increasing number of conflicts in countries like Syria and Afghanistan which further endanger the lives and safety of LGBTI+ individuals, leading us to urgently call on governments around the world to open their borders and do more to protect LGBTI+ individuals from persecution.
The situation is undoubtedly much better for LGBTI+ people in Scandinavia but we know from recent reports that many young people are self-harming and discrimination against LGBTI+ people in sport is rife.
This global frame with an unmistakably Scandinavian lens was always the intention for WorldPride and EuroGames in Copenhagen and Malmö, under the joint name of Copenhagen 2021. As you will read in this report, many years of planning went into planning a ‘mega event’ for our cities and countries, but also for the world.
But then, with less than 20 months to go until our event, the global pandemic hit us all.
The pandemic forced several reimaginings of our plans, even in the few weeks immediately before our events. But our team’s unfailing determination on behalf of the global LGBTI+ community was what gave us the drive to find a way to make our events happen. Some were not in the format or size that we had originally planned, but all were focused on inclusion in the spirit of our #YouAreIncluded theme.
A solid platform has been built within multiple areas, which we can use as a launch pad for our continued work and we see great opportunities in developing sport and Pride in several areas that is a direct result of Copenhagen 2021 initiatives.
This report gives a granular detail of every event we delivered, and how we went about it in a way that ensured our events were safely within the pandemic restrictions without compromising their contribution to the advancement of LGBTI+ people globally. Even though it runs to many pages, there was a great deal that could not be included. Appendices and further reports and data can be found on our website.
We can speak for all our organisations, our boards, our staff and our volunteers when we say that we are immensely proud of what we delivered in August 2021 despite the incredible challenges we faced along the way. Many thousands of people joined our live events in Copenhagen and Malmö, and the digital archive of our events is available to millions of people worldwide.
To everyone who has contributed to the success of Copenhagen 2021 WorldPride and EuroGames over the last seven years, our grateful thanks. In challenging times, we came together and demonstrated resilience, fortitude and determination but above all, we showed that love, freedom and equality will always prevail.
Katja Moesgaard, Happy Copenhagen
Lars Henriksen, Copenhagen Pride
Christian Bigom, Pan Idræt