Today, a lot of western countries are tolerant towards gays, but Denmark has always been in the lead when it has come down to passing laws to secure equality for gay men and lesbians.
Copenhagen is a beautiful and laid-back city, and attitudes towards gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered persons are liberal and open-minded. Members of the LGBTQ community tend to mix more freely here than in so many other large cities around the world.
All the LGBTQ bars and clubs in Copenhagen are within walking distance, and you will find a concentration of bars in Studiestræde street and around City Hall Square.. See our guide to LGBTQ bars, events, venues & restaurants.
Most gay-friendly place on the planet
In 2014, Copenhagen was proclaimed the no. 1 most gay-friendly place on the planet by Lonely Planet, the largest travel guide book publisher in the world.
Earlier the same year, Copenhagen won the OUT Traveler "Where to Go Next/Breakout Destination" award.
Denmark is a very small country with only 5.6 million inhabitants, and attitudes towards public persons, royalty and celebrities are very relaxed. Many politicians, stand-up comedians, DJ’s and artists are openly gay, and more often than not, they are praised for being role-models for young members of the LGBTQ community.
One of them is a 15 year-old lesbian winner of the Danish X-Factor on national television, and the examples are many of course. From sports stars to musicians to politicians and celebrities from all other kinds of public stages. Lately lesbians in particular have received much more positive attention and have grown out of the stereotypical picture in which they so often have been portrayed.
In many cases, being gay, bisexual or lesbian is not even worth mentioning, just like you would not make a big deal out of being heterosexual. Intolerance, homophobia and hate crimes regrettably do occur, but they are frowned upon by the general public, and the Danish police takes reports of hate crimes seriously and will persecute offenders.
The open-minded, laidback Danes
Danes in general are rather humble, moderate and reserved in their expressions. They do rarely make a fuss about themselves in public. You will thus not find many rainbow-coloured flags swaying in the streets. Copenhageners are much more subtle than that.
However, once a year, during the month of August, Copenhageners tend to forget their own moderate nature and show their pride during Copenhagen Pride. The pride parade moves through Copenhagen city centre and ends at City Hall Square, renamed Pride Square on the occasion.
Another major LGBTQ event is MIX Copenhagen LGBTQ film festival, which takes place every October.
The official Denmark is in great support of LGBT and human rights. Denmark was the first country in the world to legalise same-sex registered partnerships and celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2014. Danish politicians have continued to pass laws to ensure the rights of the LGBTQ community, and today, gay couples can also marry and adopt children.
In 2014, the Danish parliament passed a landmark law allowing transgender people to obtain official documents reflecting their gender identity without needing to be diagnosed with a mental disorder or undergo surgeries resulting in irreversible sterilisation.
Besides, in 2014 Copenhagen named a central square Rainbow Square in the name of the LGBTQ community.
Welcome to Copenhagen, where being yourself is not a crime.