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The world’s most significant LGBTI+ event, Copenhagen 2021, is making big plans this summer. Combining WorldPride, EuroGames, an extensive arts and culture programme, and a large LGBTI+ human rights forum, this ten-day event set across Copenhagen and Malmö is set to be massive.

Taking place between the 12th-22nd August 2021, the #YouAreIncluded emphasis prides itself on representation, with the #YouAreIncluded podcast involving discussions about sport, human rights, art and culture, and Pride. 

The opening ceremony of WorldPride will take place at City Hall Square in the centre of Copenhagen on the afternoon of the 13th. The square will form a set of “villages”, wherein worldwide LGBTI+ organisations and NGOs will be present to inform attendees about their work. This set-up intends to provide education on what Copenhagen and Malmö respectively can offer the global LGBTI+ community. Other villages with themes will be present around the city, with the Sports Village aiming to promote the EuroGames, but also villages focusing on families, children, youth, women, and others in line with the #YouAreIncluded policy.

Picture: Daniel Rasmussen

The Pride March is the biggest event of Copenhagen 2021, and it will take place in both Copenhagen and Malmö. The opening march will be held in the latter, with another held in Copenhagen on the 21st. Each year, more than 60,000 people, global decision-makers, advocates, celebrities and organisations included, march to support LGBTI+ rights to live and love freely. Pride isn’t Pride without a march, but it also isn’t Pride without a party. Copenhagen 2021 will be partnering with the local bars and nightclubs to bring the party, culminating in a huge street party on the closing night in Copenhagen’s City Hall Square. 

Picture: Tobias Jørgensen

The EuroGames aim to make sport more accessible and inclusive for LGBTI+ people: with twenty-nine different sports, from beach volley to ballroom dancing, there’s something for everyone. The goal is to encourage a sense of community: the EuroGames hopes that athletes are able to make “new friends and new memories as they break a sweat on the court and give it all during the match.” There are no barriers to taking part: whether you’re a complete beginner or a certified Olympic athlete, there’s a space for you at the EuroGames. 

The tournaments typically encompass the participation of more than 6000 people, women, men, and non-binary people included. The Sports to the People programme builds on EuroGames, encouraging everyone living and travelling around Copenhagen and Malmö to take part in sport: this includes roller-skating, skiing on the Copenhagen ski slope, rainbow family sports, and the eclectic Drag Olympics. Racers, start your engines, and may the best woman (man, or non-binary person) win!   

Picture: Kelly Hansen

Pride isn’t all about fun: education should be involved, too. The Copenhagen 2021 Human Rights Forum will be bringing a multitude of human-rights focused events focused on the agenda of improving global equality and diversity for LGBTI+ people. The opening will take place on the 16th of August, in collaboration with UNFPA, the United Nations Sexual and Reproductive Health Agency. There will be around 250 participants, speaking on topics from the Sustainable Development Goals to human rights challenges faced by the global LGBTI+ community. The three-day conference will be taking place from the 17th to the 19th of August in Copenhagen, with the 1:1 Democracy Festival running from the 16th to the 20th of August. Inspired by the Scandinavian concept of the ‘Peoples Meeting’, or Folkemødet, it will involve discussions with community members, politicians, and activists on LGBTI+ human rights. There will also be an Interparliamentary Plenary Session on the 20th and the Refugees, Borders and Immigration Summit on the 20th

The organisers are currently anticipating that the event will be going ahead in person, based on the speed of the vaccination programme: it hopes that it will be able to welcome international visitors as well as those in Scandinavia. Should COVID-19 prevent the event from taking place in its preferred format, the WorldPride and EuroGames will either move to a combination of digital and in-person events with social distancing and COVID-safe measures in place, or a fully virtual event. The latter is a worst-case scenario-based option, and, as mentioned, the aim is to have the event fully in person as planned.

Interested? Download the Copenhagen 2021 app, available on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. It’s the simplest way to navigate the events taking place during WorldPride and EuroGames, featuring a planner which organises the activities you’re interested in into one little neat itinerary.   

As they say in Denmark, vi ses, or in Sweden, ses snart! (See you soon!) 

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Eleanor Noyce

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