Happy Pride – from up here, it really is an amazing sight and what a way to celebrate diversity and inclusion.
I knew this day and this week were going to be important and significant, and as they draw to an end, just how important and necessary has never been clearer.
- I have learnt a lot and heard many of your personal trials with disbelief.
- I have been inspired and moved, I have been shocked and saddened.
- I have been hopeful and optimistic. I have laughed and I have shed a tear.
- I have gained a better understanding of the reality of what too many people are forced to endure because of their sexual orientation or gender identity – something humanity, as diverse as we are, simply cannot accept.
I’m thankful for that better understanding, as understanding – as I see it - is the first step to positive and enduring change.
Being aware of the complexities, insights and sensitivities of an issue is necessary for a deeper understanding, and the issues of sexual orientation and gender identity are complex: They involve, amongst many other things, words and expressions and identities that are new to some.
Even with what I know, I have at times during this week felt a little unsure of how to express myself in line with how a person identifies themselves. And how making a mistake, albeit unintentionally, could be seen as disrespectful or not acknowledging a person, as who they are.
This is a dilemma: lack of knowledge and understanding is creating a barrier to conversations that need to be had. We need as a global community to be brave enough and willing to have these conversations and to make mistakes
One of the things, I have dwelled upon this week is the word ‘community’.
A community is a place where we should feel safe and understood. A community should also be open and tolerant, open enough to welcome and accept those who also want to be a part of it.
Let’s build understanding, let’s have those conversations, and let’s be ONE community.
One community with one common agenda.
- where problems are not yours or mine but ours,
- where differences are embraced and celebrated,
- where we are open and tolerant,
- where compassion and humanity thrive,
- where we are allies - who stand up and defend each other
- where everyone has equal and free access to all the community has to offer,
- where the youth have a voice,
- where there is place to be who we are and love who we love,
- where rights and freedoms belong to everyone.
Such a community represents what I believe is the noble intention behind Our Universal Human Rights.
Denmark is a country that is recognized as progressive and pioneering on issues of equality and human rights – and this is something I’m proud of. I am also proud to be patron of Copenhagen 2021, World Pride and Euro games – a movement with a mission for a more inclusive and diverse world.
As we pass the torch onto to future hosts and as we say goodbye and return to our respective homes, I hope we all take with us strength in knowing that we are many that believe in the concept, that we all belong to one global community. And that we take with us renewed strength and energy to secure the universal fundamental right, to be who we are.
Stand strong. Stand united. Stay safe.
Have a great Party!