Let’s move forward – with Pride

Benjamin Hansen (he/him), Chairperson of Copenhagen Pride, writes.

It’s a line often repeated that Copenhagen Pride has had a turbulent few months. Things have not gone as we had wanted and we have faced challenges and difficulties that have damaged our organisation and its relationship with you, the LGBTI+ community that we serve.

This is especially difficult because what we should be talking about is the rise in online hate, especially towards the trans community. We should be talking about the anti-LGBTI+ legislation in Ghana and Uganda. We should be talking about the recent research that showed that almost half of all LGBTI+ people in Denmark faced harassment in the last year, or that a third think that violence against our community has increased in the last five years. Instead, we’ve been talking about Copenhagen Pride.

We’re optimistic that we can start talking again about these important issues, ones that affect every LGBTI+ person in Denmark, because despite the turbulence, Copenhagen Pride 2024 is just two months away and our team is busy planning and preparing for the event. Our volunteers – including every member of the board and all the programming teams – are dedicated to this work because they are committed to Copenhagen Pride and the value it brings to everyone in our community.

Some have questioned if Pride would go ahead at all, but we can confirm that it certainly will. For the vast majority, Pride this year will look the same, and we still take over the centre of Copenhagen from 10-18 August. And once again, hundreds of volunteers will generously give their time to make it all happen.

We selected with Pride as the theme for this year’s Copenhagen Pride long before the issues of recent months developed. But we think that the meaning of the theme carries even more importance now. Copenhagen Pride is a platform for the LGBTI+ community and its organisations to raise awareness, advocate for change, and call out those things that need to change: it is a platform to do those things. And let us not forget, Pride is the biggest and most visible platform we have.

We are determined that we will put this behind us and move forward with a sharper focus on the LGBTI+ issues that you expect us to address, working with our community partners, supported by our commercial partners. But we can only do this with your support, with your commitment to stand with Pride.

We’re sorry that it ended up being ourselves in the spotlight and not our important work for our community. We hope that we’ll have your support when we are back on the streets in August, showing that our community is united, and only with Pride can we stand up for LGBTI+ people everywhere.

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