On the 31st of January this year, Copenhagen Municipality decided to approve a policy of 50 initiatives, that are to improve the conditions of LGBT+.
By Kseniia Mishina & Lasse Bækhus
The proposition to implement a policy, that is aimed to improve the conditions of LGBT+ persons (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) in the Danish capital, was made by the Danish Social Liberal Party. On January the 31st, the City Council unanimously decided to implement an official LGBT policy, consisting of 50 different initiatives.
In an E-mail, Emil Mihail Jelstrup, legal officer at Copenhagen Municipality, writes that the foundation of the policy is based on proposition from a City council member. The proposition made it apparent, that compared to the population average, LGBT+ persons statistically experience challenges to a greater extend in a number of areas. These areas being physical and mental health, discrimination, loneliness, suicide and attempted suicide, as well as exposure to violence.
“The idea of the overall policy is to address these challenges and thereby contribute to LGBTI + persons being able to experience the same degree of well-being as the rest of the population.“ writes the legal officer.
The policy includes initiatives such as strengthening the safety in the night life, making public bathrooms in Copenhagen gender neutral, delivering a special effort to refugees with LGBT+ background, in case they do not feel safe in the regular accommodations. An administration will offer workshops and presentations to both schools and workplaces to increase understanding and tolerance thereby decreasing discrimination.
“I think that this will have an effect, after some years quite a bit.” Vivi Jelstrup, the frontperson of LGBT Denmark, says.
Vivi Jesltrup highlights the formal inclusion that will happen in paperwork. Until now, when filling out your gender in formal papers, it has only been possible to fill in either man or woman, the policy will bring more options.
Room for improvements
“I think the most important thing is, what’s going on with the schools. The young people are our future, what they think and do is very important for minorities. Luckily, they are much more open, than many grown up people.” Says Vivi Jelstrup
The frontperson elaborates and states that information and education on the subject is crucial. The internet is an unlimited source for information, but it is also unfiltered. Vivi tells that she thinks it is important that young people are guided through the information. She expresses concern as she talks about young people getting obsessed with changing their bodies, it can affect one’s health in a serious way if not approached carefully.
“I think the policy in general is very well done. But it may take years before we really see and feel a change. More so probably in the private sector.” The frontperson says.
The end of the rainbow
With these initiatives, Copenhagen City Council hope to get accepted into the Rainbow Cities Network. The network right now is present in 15 countries and consists of 27 members, that consider it the city’s responsibility to support their LGBT+ citizens. The network exchanges practices and initiatives that is recommendable for other cities and collaborates on projects.
“A membership in Rainbow Cities Network requires an active policy on LGBT+ and for the municipality to have a policy officer with responsibility for that area, they will represent Copenhagen in the network and at annually joint meetings.” Writes Emil Mihail Jelstrup.
The Rainbow Cities network is right now under restructuring and does therefore not recruit new cities at the moment. But Copenhagen is determined to apply for membership once the network is open for applications.
This story is written for an audience in Russia and could be published on https://lgbtnet.org/en