Diversity, gay

LGBTI+ in Copenhagen

Photo: Daniel Rasmussen

Rainbow families are part of everyday life in Copenhagen, where the world’s first legalised same-sex partnership took place.  

According to Lonely Planet, Copenhagen is the most gay-friendly place in the world. Diversity is in Copenhagen’s DNA; in 1989, Denmark became the first country in the world to recognise registered partnerships for same-sex couples and for decades Denmark has been amongst the most progressive nations in the world for LGBTI+ equality.  

In Copenhagen, you can feel comfortable walking hand in hand with your partner regardless of their gender and the Rainbow Family is part of everyday life making it completely normal for two dads or two mothers to raise their child, just as gay couples now have the option of adoption. Copenhageners are mostly welcoming people, and the general attitude towards LGBTI+ people is liberal and open-minded.   

The city offers a vibrant cultural scene with big festivals like Copenhagen Pride, the oldest LGBTI+ film festival in the world, Copenhagen MIX, and Copenhagen 2021, which was hosted in 2021 combing the two major-events WorldPride and EuroGames. The city is home to one of Europe’s oldest gay bars, Centralhjørnet from 1917, which openly became a gay bar in the 1950s.  

Also, worth mentioning is that the tale of one of Copenhagen’s most famous inhabitants, The Little Mermaid, was inspired by an unrequited love story between two men: Fair tale author, Hans Christian Andersen, had fallen for a man named Edvard Collin, but as his feelings were not reciprocated, Hans Christian Andersen wrote the tale of The Little Mermaid with a broken heart upon hearing the news of Edvard Collin's impending wedding. 


Photo:Mellanie Gandø

Facts: LGBTI+ in Denmark

  • 1933: Homosexuality is decriminalised in Denmark.
  • 1951: The first successful gender reassignment surgery took place in Copenhagen.
  • 1973: A change in legislation means men are now allowed to dance with each other. 
  • 1981: Homosexuality is removed from the Danish list of diseases. 
  • 1987: Introduction of antidiscrimination law. 
  • 1989: The world’s first legalised same-sex partnership between Eigil and Axel Axgi takes place at Copenhagen City Hall. 
  • 1996: Copenhagen hosts the EuroPride.  
  • 2010: LGBTI+ couples can adopt on equal terms as heterosexual couples.  
  • 2012: Same-sex couples can marry in the church.  
  • 2014: Denmark is the first country to allow a legal change of gender without requiring prior medical approval and with the option of changing social security numbers.  
  • 2019: Copenhagen City Council introduces an overall policy for ensuring equal treatment for LGBTI+ people.  
  • 2021: Copenhagen hosts the combined WorldPride and EuroGames. 

In depth article - LGBTI+ in Copenhagen

Read more about Copenhagen as the gay village of Northern Europe by Lars Henriksen, the Chairperson of Copenhagen Pride.

Further information - LGBTI+ in Copenhagen

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Copenhagen Pride at Stormgade

Press photos: LGBTI+ in Copenhagen

Photo: Thomas Høyrup Christensen

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Giuseppe Liverino

Senior Manager – Press & PR