Thank you, Copenhagen, for making everyone proud

From the 18 months of planning and patronage of HRH Crown Princess of Denmark to the 1,000 ‘Includers’ who volunteered to make Copenhagen 2021 possible, the effort was immense

Six years of hard work, dedication, and – over the last 18 months – endless patience and incredible resilience resulted in Copenhagen 2021 WorldPride and EuroGames, the biggest LGBTI+ event ever held in Scandinavia, and the world’s most significant this year.

A big thank you to you all!
From concerts in Fælledparken to tree dedications and weddings in Ørstedsparken, from Fluid Festival and Gammel Strand to Sports Village at Islands Brygge, from 1:1 Democracy Festival at Øksnehallen to WorldPride Square in Rådhuspladsen, Copenhagen shone in rainbow colours like never before. And whether you are a Copenhagener by birth or you’ve chosen this incredible city as home, it’s down to you that we were able to celebrate such a momentous event.

Our city is open and welcoming to LGBTI+ people all year around, not just in August. That’s one of the reasons Lonely Planet earlier this year named Copenhagen the best city in the world for LGBTI+ people to live and to visit, and one of the reasons why I dreamed of living here for so long after first visiting in 2005. Copenhagen was always going to embrace LGBTI+ visitors during WorldPride and EuroGames, and it didn’t disappoint. 

A truly global gathering
As the first major LGBTI+ event after the easing of pandemic restrictions in many parts of the world, there was a palpable and tangible sense of joy at coming back together after what has been a difficult 18 months for most. I saw so many friends and colleagues for the first time in almost two years, and the tears flowed. 

WorldPride and EuroGames attracted visitors from more than 80 countries, including Australia, Canada, the US, Brazil, India, Bangladesh, China and almost all European nations. Two thousand athletes from 50 countries competed in 22 EuroGames tournaments across the city. Ten thousand people joined the six WorldPride Marches from different points around the city, and 25,000 people attended our concerts and ceremonies at Fælledparken and KB Hallen. The sheer togetherness was overwhelming.

Human rights at forefront
And whilst we competed, marched, partied and celebrated, we kept the important focus on global human rights because whilst Denmark might be one of the most progressive nations for LGBTI+ equality globally, we only have to look to the unfolding crisis in Afghanistan to see how LGBTI+ people are at risk of appalling human rights abuses. 

The six-day, seven-event Human Rights Forum brought political and business leaders, policy makers, activists and human rights defenders together to focus on the signing of the Øresund Declaration, establishing 15 goals for global LGBTI+ equality to be achieved by 2030.

Special thanks!
Copenhagen 2021 was also the first major LGBTI+ event anywhere in the world to be granted royal support. HRH Crown Princess of Denmark attended five events, including the Human Rights Forum Opening at UN City, EuroGames swimming tournament at Bellahøj, and the Closing Ceremony at Fælledparken where she spoke alongside Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.

With hundreds of events also taking place across the bridge in Malmö, our staff teams in both cities were supported by more than 1,000 volunteers – called Includers in recognition of our theme of #YouAreIncluded – many of whom were people from overseas living in Copenhagen and Malmö. Without them, none of our events would have been possible.

Passing on the mantle
But now, as the rainbow flags are packed away, we have passed on the mantle to the next host cities. EuroGames 2022 will be in Nijmegen, Netherlands, and EuroPride 2022 will be in Belgrade, Serbia, where Pride led to city-wide riots just a decade ago. And WorldPride ventures to the southern hemisphere for the first time, taking place in Sydney in early 2023. We could not be more excited to see how these three hosts deliver unique events in their local contexts in the same special way that we did.

We’re immensely proud of what we achieved in such difficult circumstances, and we’re grateful to each and every person, company and organisation that supported us in whatever way, and to everyone who calls Copenhagen and Malmö home – whether LGBTI+ or not – for embracing the global rainbow community at such an important time. You showed that we HAVE Pride in Copenhagen.