Embracing the Rainbow: LGBT+ in Denmark and Germany

The Danish Embassy hosts a podium-discussion on queer existence in Denmark and Germany

October 11th, 2022
Maria Asklund, News from Berlin
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[Image credits: Danish Embassy Facebook]

On the evening of the 13th of October, the Danish Embassy in Berlin is inviting visitors to a podium discussion on the topic of LGBT-existence in Denmark and Germany. The motto of the event is “have we become more colourful?” The event is taking place in partnership with the LGBT+ group Siegessäule - we are queer Berlin.

One year after the massive Copenhagen Pride event, summoning LGBT+ individuals from all over the world to Denmark, the Danish Embassy looks back to ask the question: what has changed for the community since then? Likewise, it has been one year since the German elections for parliament, which also brings up the question of what the “Ampel coalition” has done in their work to deepen LGBT+ acceptance nationwide. In addition, a second question has come up; what work still needs to be done?

During this event, the current situation will thus be discussed by several participants from politics, media, and LGBT+ organisations. Firstly, the Danish Embassy has invited Henny Engels from the German Lesbian- and Gay Organisation (Lesben- und Schwulenverband). Secondly, Mari Günther from the Trans* organisation will be present and thirdly, Manuela Kay from Special Media SDL GmbH. Finally, Sven Lehmann, Queer Representative of the German government, as well as Andreas Nielsen, political advisor of LGBT+ Denmark. The moderator of the event is Dirk Ludigs, author and LGBTI+ activist.

The motto of the evening is “have we become more colourful?”. After a discussion of past happenings, the speakers will look into the future of LGBT+ existence. Some of the most important topics for LGBT+ individuals and families today are the discrimination they sadly have to withstand and the difficulty of being recognised as Rainbow-families. These topics are similar in both countries, and equally meaningful. In this sense, the Danish Embassy is creating a link between the two states and between minorities across the border.

In Germany, one event has been of particular importance in this discussion during the past months. This summer, Malte C. was tragically killed during the Christopher Street Day (CSD) in Münster. The event gained a lot of attention in media and became an example in the discussion of discrimination against LGBT+ individuals. The incident also shows why more work needs to be done to protect those part of the LGBT+, as well as to deepen the acceptance for this minority.

As part of the podium discussion, one question will also be how Denmark and Germany can inspire each other in the work with this topic. Both governments have formed national plans to further acceptance and protection of the diversity of sexual identities. In this event, participants can get a glimpse of future processes, where individuals working in non-political settings can have a say. For example, LGBT+ organisations might be involved in the planning of future programs. What can we expect from the Danish and German government? And what topics should be focused on, in particular? These are questions that the Danish Embassy wants to pick up.

In a world where more and more people open up about their sexual identity and events such as Copenhagen Pride and the CSD are gaining more and more attention, we should still keep in mind that numerous of LGBT+ individuals face great difficulties. By focusing on these issues, the Danish Embassy is addressing an important discourse. In examining the cultural and political differences between the LGBT+ situation in Denmark and its close neighbour Germany, both states may learn something meaningful.


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