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An LGBTQ+ Guide to Copenhagen


Copenhagen has one of the world's best reputations as a welcoming city for LGBTQ+ people. Denmark was the first country to legally recognise same sex partnerships all the way back in 1989 and its capital city is full of spaces and places where LGBTQ+ people can feel at home. The annual Copenhagen Pride festival – which just finished last week – is a yearly chance for the city's diverse LGBTQ+ community to throw the mother of all parties. We asked city native and photographer Thorbjørn Jacobsen to document the festivities and tell us about the best bars, clubs and places for future LGBTQ+ visitors to keep in mind.

Hi Thorbjørn! How was this year's Pride? Tell us about the route you took and places you went.

It was great. I first went to brunch with a lot of other LGBTQ+ people and then we went to the parade with LGBT Asylum – a Danish advocacy and counselling group. After that we went to The Log Lady Café, which is a cosy bar that's styled after Twin Peaks in Studiestræde – a very LGBTQ+ -friendly area.

After that we went and chilled in Ørstedsparken, a park that’s also the oldest place for gay cruising in Copenhagen. As night came we went to the Amigo Sauna – Copenhagen's biggest gay-friendly sauna, it's full of darkrooms and sunbeds and video rooms – and finally to Chateau Motel to sing karaoke into the early hours of the morning.   

What are the best parts of the city for LGBTQ+ culture? 

I would say Pisserenden in Inner City and the Meatpacking District in Vesterbro. There’s also the Gay House in Christiania and some autonomist, left-wing squats that put on activities and events like UngdomshusetBumZen and Folkets Hus – these are all places the queer community hang out.

It can also be nice to just go to a small street called Blågårdsgade in Nørrebro, where there are a lot of cute cafés and shops. The street is kind of straight in its vibe but there is space for diversity in a way that feels queer-friendly.

Can you tell us some of your favourite LGBTQ+ events or clubs?

There’s a party concept called Mainstream. As you can tell from the title, they’re not very mainstream! They are super sex-positive, queer and have a really progressive music profile. They move around from venue to venue but you can always find the next one on their Facebook page

Vela in Vesterbro is a super-old lesbian bar. There is such a cool vibe there and you can go for a beer and just play some table football. Nevermind in Innercity is probably my favourite club if I just want to dance to commercial pop music.

Did you meet any new and interesting people? 

The good thing about Pride is you can just go around and meet new people. I love to meet people when I don’t know anything about their gender or sexuality. When you meet dancing in a street you just communicate through the body, and that can be liberating. Some of the people in the pictures are friends and some are new friends I made that day.

Photography by Thorbjørn Jacobsen

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