”We can’t imagine living anywhere else,” says Rosa, who was born and raised in the city area of Frederiksberg. Mette, who is originally from Vejle in Danish Jutland, adds that the diversity in Copenhagen as well as the city’s ability to embrace all sorts of people was one of the main reasons why she moved to the city in the first place. “I needed a place that was a little more openminded and free, and I found that in Copenhagen”.
As parents, Rosa and Mette are very keen on making their daughter Liva aware of people’s differences. “It’s important that Liva feels that ‘everything goes,’” says Mette. As a result of that, the family likes to spend time exploring Copenhagen’s diverse neighbourhoods; from hip Vesterbro and multicultural Nørrebro to the more mundane Frederiksberg. That way Liva will grow up with a broad and positive perspective on the diversity.
Rosa and Mette feel Copenhagen’s acceptance and diversity every single day. “I never think about the fact that we are lesbians. Not even if we kiss or hold hands in public,” states Mette. ”The fact that I never even stop to think about it just shows me how diverse the city really is”.
The couple has not experienced neither discrimination nor restrictions when it comes to their sexuality. Some people are curious and occasionally ask questions, but that does not bother the young couple. “It’s often rooted in people’s need to put everything in boxes,” Mette says with a smile.
Rosa and Mette do not go out as often as they used to, but they still spend a lot of time with their friends. Sometimes they meet with other rainbow families in the park Enghaveparken in Vesterbro. That way they can stay in touch with the gay community, and Liva will experience that families come in all shapes and sizes.
Liva loves to be outdoors and play. “We use all the big playgrounds in the city. We spend a lot of time in Fælledparken,” explains Rosa, and adds Nørrebroparken and Skydebanehaven to the list of favourite places to play with little Liva.
The family greatly appreciates the city’s selection of green areas that are perfect for fun and free activities galore. Fælledparken offers soccer fields, playgrounds and multiple skating opportunities, and Mette describes the park as a gift to the city. “That’s what I like about Copenhagen. It’s of high priority that there are places where the locals can go and have fun without having to spend a fortune”.
Even though the nights out are less frequent for Rosa and Mette, they occasionally find a babysitter for Liva, so they can meet up with their friends for a couple of cold ones. They often go out in Vesterbro, where the lesbian bar Vela is an old favourite. Every now and then they stop by the Meatpacking District where Block 66 and Sabaah are behind a series of events that encourage various minorities to come. Both Rosa and Mette applaud these initiatives where it is not all about being gay, but about being inclusive.
“I don’t like to be labelled “lesbian” because I don’t think it represents anything besides the sexuality you happen to be born with,” says Mette and commends the positive change that the Copenhagen nightlife has undergone in recent years. “I don’t feel the need to celebrate the fact that we are lesbians. Instead I’d like to celebrate the diversity in people”.
Despite the positive change, the couple lacks places where it is not all about hooking up and drinking shots in the wee hours of the morning. They would like more places where you can come during the afternoon and still have a good time. Therefore, Rosa and Mette think it would be ideal if several Copenhagen cafes and bars provide some sort of indication that they are LGBT-friendly. “There could be a clearer indication that this is a place that embraces everyone, and that the clientele is diverse,” says Mette.
Rosa adds that she has a hard time understanding why there are so few meeting places for lesbians in Copenhagen. “I think it’s particularly important for girls who have just come out of the closet to have more than one regular bar where they can meet other girls,” says Rosa.
Furthermore, Mette suggests that Copenhagen mirrors itself in German cities like Berlin and Hamburg; cities that, by virtue of their history, have a unique take on what diversity is. She believes, however, that Copenhagen is good at promoting and encouraging diversity in the city.