In July everybody goes on vacation, for a shorter or longer period of time. Well, imagine, if all the months were July. For the Danish Kristine it is like that. She has been travelling around the world for a couple of years now. I caught her on her short stop in Budapest.
Hey, Kristine. Nice to see you in Budapest. Can you tell us a bit about yourself please?
My name is Kristine Henriksen and I live close to Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. For the last couple of years I have just been working and traveling around the world, trying to experience as much as I can before I start to study again. So traveling is one of my favorite things, but I also enjoy playing music and cooking. It seems like a lot of LGBTQ+ people find friends through the LGBTQ+ community, but not me. I think since I always played music I have been more active in that community and found many great friends there.
Still, you must have an idea about the LGBTQ+ world in Denmark. How is it to live there as an LGBTQ+ person in general?
I feel very fortunate to live in a country as accepting as Denmark. Living in or around the big cities definitely makes it even easier to be yourself. In Denmark same sex marriage is legal and so is adoption, and generally there is no big debate about being homosexual in the media.
I definitely feel like I can be myself and not hide wherever I go in Denmark still feeling safe. There are only some occasional ignorant comments here and there that you have to deal with, especially when you go out.
What’s the situation in Copenhagen?
I'm happy to say that everyone I know in Copenhagen has been completely accepting of me and my sexuality. Occasionally I see same sex couples, but I think the less taboo it is, the less you notice LGBTQ+ people when on the street or at work for example.
When I was in school, I don't really remember hearing about LGBTQ+ people in any of my classes, which I think is a shame and something we could improve. But at least we are lucky that we have the Internet nowadays and LGBTQ+ representation is much better.
Can you say a couple of words about lesbian* social life in Copenhagen?
I was never very active in the LGBTQ+ community, for the reasons I explained before. Moreover, I think when you have family and friends that are accepting, maybe you feel less need to search out these things. But I know that there are still people in Denmark struggling with unaccepting people around them, so it's good to know that there are associations and events. We have for example a lesbian bar in Copenhagen, which is quite nice.
As for Copenhagen Pride, that I have attended most of the years since I came out, and personally I have only experienced happiness and great people on that day, no hatred.
Finally, can you share a memorable coming out stories of yours?
Well, honestly, most of the people I came out to in the beginning were super cool and accepting about it.
I do remember, however, being very scared the first time I wanted to tell someone for real, so I wrote to one of my best friends to come over to my place because I had something to tell her. I guess the message sounded very-very serious so when I told her she was like "That's it?... I thought you were terminally ill or something!" In other words, she was quite relieved, and actually we just laughed about it and she gave me a big hug.