Words from the chairperson: Lars Henriksen

Copenhagen Pride Week 2017 is kicked off today when Pride Square opens it’s rainbow-colored gates to the public at 12.00. Before we enter this beautiful week of pride let’s see what the chairperson from Copenhagen Pride has to say.

Lars Henriksen - Copenhagen Pride

Words from Copenhagen Pride’s chairperson, Lars Henriksen: Copenhagen Pride week is just around the corner, and as we, throughout the year, strive to influence our stakeholders and society at large to focus strongly on all the advantages and gains of inclusivity, this is naturally at the top of our own agenda as well.

In our value and mission statements, Copenhagen Pride is an organization, based on feministic beliefs and we are all the time struggling to be aware of the blindness we, as individuals, all suffer from, when it comes to our own privileges and interests.

We are not in the world to make a Copenhagen Pride week, that merely caters to our own tastes, interests or vantage point, but to attempt, through our activities, to bridge the obvious gaps, that exist amongst the various groups in the diverse family that gather under the LGBTI+ acronyme.

We could choose to play the ball back to the groups that are not presently represented on our board or very numerously amongst our volunteers, or we can decide to understand this underrepresentation of certain groups as a structural problem, which we must try to tackle in order to ensure, that all groups under the rainbow feel included and that they have a legitimate space, in the festival and within our organization.

The strong focus on eg. transgender lives in the past years has payed off, and more and more transidentified individuals tell us, that they have come to find an inclusive and safe space in Pride week and to perceive Copenhagen Pride as an organization, that is clearly also determined to improve conditions for transidentified individuals in Denmark and abroad. This focus, we will do our utmost to maintain – also in the years to come where we, as hopefully will be tangible already from this year, we will focus also on people who are intersex, and the large and often somewhat invisible group of women who have sex with women. A group that not only have expressed frustration over not being able to see themselves sufficiently represented in the programme of Pride Week in previous years, but which is also grossly underrepresented on boards and committees across the LGBTI+ community.

We are certain, that we can ensure greater visibility and inclusivity without making other groups feel attacked on their privileges. We have this focus in all aspects of this year’s festival – from the artists on our stages, to the debaters in the debates, we ourselves control, to main speakers etc. A balanced festival – on and off stage should be a threat to no one, but enrich us all.

We have still lots of work ahead of us to reach a fully inclusive festival. We constantly strive to improve and be aware of our shortcomings. But we hope, that you will recognize and share in our determination to increase the diversity and inclusivity of Copenhagen Pride – and as participants in Copenhagen Pride Week do yours to work towards this aim.

With these high hopes and this confidence in our LGBTI+ community, I welcome all – of all genders and sexual orientations to Copenhagen Pride Week.

See the full program for Copenhagen Pride Week 2017.

Photo by Wilfred Gachau

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