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COPENHAGEN & MALMร–

ISSUE #3 2016

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LGBTQ+ events during the Christmas holiday season in Copenhagen, Malmรถ and surrounding areas.

The female representation in LGBTQ+ organisations and a new allgirls club called F.E.M.

Drag queen Jaxie Bearcunt, queer author Kristofer Folkhammar and trans woman Tanya Randstoft.

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Homotropolis wishes you a merry christmas and a happy new year

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A look inside 06

Wanted: More women in LGBTQ+ organisations We've talked to a number of LGBTQ+ organisations about women and female- identified persons in the boards. Are there enough and how important are they?

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Catching that holiday spirit Get an overview of some of the local Christmas customs along with our ideas on what to do in Greater Copenhagen during the holiday season.

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Jaxie Bearcunt: Dumb, Clowny and Cunty Meet drag queen Jaxie Bearcunt who opens up about her ambitions and life as a clowny and cunty queen.

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New girls-only parties in Copenhagen A new female-only pop-up event is in town. The name is F.E.M and we've talked to the people behind it about ambitions and ideas.

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Bid for World Pride in Copenhagen officially announced Copenhagen Pride and Happy Copenhagen were recently in France to officially announce the bid for hosting World Pride in 2021.

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Behind the curtains: Confessions of a trans woman Tanya is opening up about her life as a trans woman. From early childhood until adulthood she tells her touching story.


CONTENT Thomas K. Rasmussen (editor in chief) Helle Bjørnstrup Adam Westman Tanya Randstoft

COVER Model: Jaxie Bearcunt

PRINT Scanprint A/S

DISTRIBUTION Homotropolis is a free magazine available at cafés, shops, restaurants, bars and organisations in Copenhagen and Malmö. The magazine is targeted at LGBTQ tourists and citizens in the Greater Copenhagen region. For a complete distribution list please contact crew@homotropolis.com All articles are available online at www.homotropolis.com

HOMOTROPOLIS Issue #3. November - December 2016

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Dear reader

Welcome to this issue of Homotropolis which comes out just as Winter and the holiday season is upon us once again. Inside the magazine you will - among other things find a story that attempts to take a closer look at the representation of women and female-identified persons within the LGBTQ+ organisations. It is often claimed that cis-gendered men or male-identified persons are dominating the rainbow movement and in order to find out whether that is in fact the case, we asked some of the organisations working for the LGBTQ+ communities in both Denmark and Sweden how the representation is in their boardrooms. While the initial results cannot conclude that women and female-identified persons are invisible or not included it is clear that there is a tendency towards women being underrepresented. The reasons can be many and we will look further into that in our next issue. It is also encouraging to hear that the organisations are very aware of the importance of diversity and having all genders represented and that measures are being taken in order to try to ensure true inclusion and create safe spaces for all genders and all the colours of the rainbow. We are also really proud to bring you Tanya's very intimate story, written by Tanya herself, putting into words what it is like to be a transgender woman and growing up not feeling right. We would like to thank Tanya for her touching and educating contribution. You can also meet Copenhagen-based drag queen Jaxie Bearcunt who is also the cover model of this issue, and of course you will also find tips and ideas for what to do and where to go in these dark and cold months of the year. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a really Happy New Year. With love from Homotropolis Crew 5


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Photo: Simon Pailin / imagebanksweden.se


WANTED

MORE WOMEN IN LGBTQ+ ORGANISATIONS Quite often it is being heard and said that the rainbow agenda is predominantly being run by men or male-identified people. That women and female-identified people are far less visible in the LGBTQ+ media, in the boards and in organisations in general. A lack of female representation would not only create an imbalance but also mean less diversity and a more narrow focus and perspective within the LGBTQ+ communities. Homotropolis decided to look into this and find out if women and female-identified people are underrepresented in the organisations in Copenhagen and Malmรถ. And we also asked relevant organisations to comment on the importance of having all genders represented. 7


Beginning on the Swedish side the board of Malmö Pride consists of 2 women, 3 men and 1 trans person. In the operational steering committee 6 out of 9 people are identifying as women and the Malmö Pride Festival Manager Filip Filipek is satisfied: “I think our balance is very good and in Malmö Pride we are not struggling with underrepresentation. Combining board and management we have a majority of femaleidentifying persons in our organisation. We are working actively in our recruitment process to attract people of all genders and identities. In our festival program we actively work with intersectionality and diversity. We can always do better, this is an ongoing process year after year that has to be incorporated within the organisation. I do believe that we have come far in this process in Malmö”, says Filip who also underlines the importance of acknowledging non-binary persons when discussing diversity and representation.

“BLUS, being a group of younger people, has always kept the relevance of representation in mind. We actively invite people of all genders and sexual orientations to participate as members, volunteers and board members. In fact, in the past two years there has been a strong representation of women and female-identified people in our board. Homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, cisgender and transgender women were the majority in my last board team. I don't think this is the case for every organisation and that is a shame, because lack of representation leads to the monopolisation of subjects and problematics by one specific group, which is why I think the so called "gay agenda" always answers first to the problem of white cisgender males. It is something we have to work on”, says Paul Calderon and continues:

"I think in a way culture puts in the minds of women that their participation is not needed"

“Not everybody identify as female or male. We are a movement that embrace all identities and cannot be confined to a male­-female paradigm”, says Filip Filipek from Malmö Pride. HIGHER PARTICIPATION OF FEMALES NEEDED According to Paul Calderon, former chairperson at BLUS (LGBT University Students Network in Copenhagen), a higher participation of females is needed in all the LGBTIQ organisations:

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I think in a way culture puts in the minds of women that their participation is not needed. Or that it is irrelevant. You can see it when women actually try to participate in spaces and men immediately react to it. Mansplaining, sexualization and objectification of women are some examples. In the case of the LGBTIQ community I would say that historically trans women have always lead the fight but in later generations and especially here in Europe, gay men have been taking over”. Emilie Junget, the current chairperson of BLUS, agrees that the LGBTQIA+ scene is in general mainly dominated by men.


“When women aren’t as represented as men in general in these scenes, it’s easy to see why women are underrepresented in boards as well. So I think that the real question is why women are underrepresented in the LGBTQIA+ scene. For me this has been a question that I have thought about since I came out myself. I especially noticed this in the nightlife in Copenhagen. I don’t even have a number for how many gay bars there are in Copenhagen, but there is only one lesbian bar, and it is open 3 nights a week. That makes you wonder, where are all the LGBTQIA+ women? My own unsupported and unscientific answer would be that the reason why woman are less represented in the LGBTQIA+ scene, is because they don’t feel that they need it as much as men do. I think it might be because LGBTQIA+ women, and especially lesbians and bisexuals, are much more accepted in the patriarchy that is our current society”, Junget explains while also noting that having all genders represented equally can be a big driver for breaking down prejudice and creating more acceptance.

WOMEN & FEMALE-IDENTIFIED IN BOARDS

A RAINBOW NEEDS EVERY COLOUR In Copenhagen Pride the board including substitutes has 3 cisgendered women, 5 cisgendered men and one transgender man. The inner circle itself additionally includes one more cis-gendered man and a cis-gendered women and according to chairperson Lars Henriksen the culture within the organisation is key to a better representation:

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“Securing a wide representation means creating a safe and inclusive culture and give space. It is important to be aware of the privileged position we have as for example cisgendered gay men. There are many different approaches to an inclusive organisation and at Copenhagen Pride we constantly strive to improve ourselves and we do regular evaluations to make sure we are on track. We are not completely there yet - and I don’t think we will ever cross the finish line - because this is something that calls for a persistent and on-going effort. When we look for candidates we are very focused on representation, but at the same time we would never urge anyone to join us in order to cover up a lack of representation and thus have that person become a token”, says Lars Henriksen and continues: >>

60% SABAAH

50% BLUS

COPENHAGEN PRIDE

33%

LGBT DANMARK

33%

MALMÖ PRIDE

14% PAN IDRÆT

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“We have worked hard in recent years to make sure our festival has become more inclusive and safe for the trans community and by doing that we have at the same time managed to get a much better festival. Our board has recently agreed to also put more focus on women who sleep with women in the coming years in order to make sure that this group gets better represented. It is important because a rainbow cannot be made up of just one colour but needs to include every colour. And this is why we need to not be afraid of self-criticism and keep working on improving our own culture and organisation”.

our community at large. It is crucial to communicate, that this is a way you can engage - we are an organisation living by our activists. For instance, this should be part of  the first information you get, when you become a member, and the message should be actively disseminated among all activists”, Laursen says.

"Our board has recently agreed to also put more focus on women who sleep with women in the coming years"

GENDER AND DIVERSITY IMPORTANT IN THE BOARDROOMS LGBT Danmark, the oldest and largest LGBT organisation in Denmark, has also experienced the challenges of underrepresentation. “In the current board of 9 members and a substitute, there are three identifying as women. Two are trans persons”, says Søren Laursen, chairperson at LGBT Danmark. “I think, there has generally been a female underrepresentation in the board over the years. Curiously this is not reflected in the other organisational units: among the spokespersons, in the work groups, in the services such as counselling there is generally a more balanced distribution of persons identifying as male or female. But we have not been successful to obtain a similar thing in the board. It is my hope, that we can make board work attractive to more of our activists, as it is my opinion, that the board should better reflect the diversity in our organisation and 10

In Pan Idræt, the Danish LGBTQ sports association, only 14,3% of the board identify as female and both the chair and vice-chair are male.

“I wish we had more gender diversity on the board of Pan Idræt, however only 20% of our members are women, so purely based on numbers it follows naturally that there are fewer women than men on the board. That being said it is certainly something we look at every single time there are vacancies at the Annual General Meeting. I consider it our duty as the board to locate competent and dedicated members and ask them if they would be interested in standing for election. As an entirely natural part of that recruitment process we look at professional background, experience/ skills, age and most certainly also gender”, says Christian Bigom, chair of Pan Idræt and continues: “Every year we do an open call for potential candidates to stand for election and we encourage everyone to contact me or any other board members beforehand if they have any questions. In addition to this “open call” we try - throughout the year - to spot potential candidates and encourage them to stand for election. I most certainly think gender and diversity in general is important in the boardroom. We are tasked with leading the organisation and every situation can be approached from different viewpoints. Having diversity in the boardroom brings different perspectives, schools of thought and ideas to light and I think that’s important”, Bigom says.


A SILENT CRITICISM OF SOCIETY The Copenhagen-based organisation Sabaah is working for the rights of LGBT+ people with minority ethnic backgrounds and is the only organisation to have a transgender chairperson. “I am proud to say that we in 2016 have more women than men on the board. This along with having a transgender chair is possibly differentiating Sabaah from other LGBTQ organisations. In some ways I consider Sabaah to be a silent criticism of the existing power structures in our society”, says Fahad Saeed from Sabaah while also admitting that it has not always been like that: “Of course we have several times ended up with mirroring the existing structures in which the cis-gendered men end up being the most visible and the ones who dominate the board but we have now managed to turn that tendency around. We also have a very broad representation when it comes to ethnicity although it can be challenging to recruit members due to the limited number of people with minority ethnic background in the LGBT community. But also in this case we have started to see positive changes as more and more resourceful voices with minority ethnic backgrounds join our organisation. In this sense I believe that we are more than just a silent criticism of the power structures of society but also an active player in both society as well as within the LGBT community”, says Fahad Saeed from Sabaah.

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INTERVIEW queer author Kristofer folkhammar Homotropolis recently met up with author Kristofer Folkhammar for a coffee and a quick chat. Folkhammar is the author of two well-received novels about complex relationships in the gay community.

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We meet up with Kristofer at a café close to Möllan in Malmö. He is a tall guy with kind eyes. He smiles and tells us that he is a little tired at the moment due to the fact that he just became a parent in the beginning of this summer. “It’s awesome! Feels like a blessing”, he says. “At the same time it’s more practical than emotional right now. It’s a fascinating state of being, how love and duty is exactly the same in relation to my daughter”. Folkhammar’s first novel, “Isak & Billy”, portrays a couple with completely opposite personas. They struggle with love, sexual power and images of masculinity and in this chaos of feelings they try to find a balance in their life together. We sip some coffee and ask Kristofer about the reviews of the novel which has two gay guys as main characters. “It was my debut and it feels like a long time ago. I guess I was rather overwhelmed since most of it was positive, but at the same time it was so obvious how it was read with a straight gaze. Several critics were careful to announce that “Isak & Billy” was a “universal story about love”. Yeah, of course it is. But what about the specifics? What about the fact that this story is about two gays in love? That gay love is actually forced to deal with homophobia and heteronormativity, for instance”. What about the writing process then? What is it that kickstarts a story? For Kristofer it has always started with a rhythm, image or a sentence. Something that is impossible for him to neglect. Writing Isak & Billy, it started with their names and the subtle powerplay in the sentence: “Det är viktigt för Isak att det är Billy som kommer fram till honom och inte tvärtom.” ("It is important to Isak that it is Billy who approaches him, and not the other way around.”) “When it comes to the actual writing I write and rewrite and rewrite. It takes forever and I guess that’s one of the reasons why my books aren’t very thick. As a writer I try to create fictive rooms where gay bodies and desires can be explored”. His second novel “Magisterlekarna” is a dreamy mix of high school drama and gay porn. >>

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“I wanted to write a simple story in a poetic and intense way but with deeper undertones about identity and power. The story sets at a school where everyone – the teachers, the students, the janitor – are gay. It follows a teacher that struggles with his S/M-desires, and a group of students, “the hyenas”, willing to do anything to reach popularity and status. It is a fun story with lots of sex, yet kind of dark. So far my books have depended on humour to some extent”, Kristofer explains. “I think the next step will be to write completely without it as a support. I want to see what happens if I don’t rely on it”. We certainly need more writers like Kristofer. We need a wider range in queer literature not just for LGBTQ people but also to make it a daily element within the general society. We need to see the queer aspect in every genre: comedy, fantasy, horror. We ask him what he wants more of in queer literature today. He tells that he wants to see more in general. “More diversity, complexity and the chance to both confirm and expand LGBT and queer experiences”. “As in the rest of the literature field queer literature is to a great extend white, middle class business, told in conventional, confessional ways. It needs to expand. More sex, more weird, with bolder intersections with other issues. And we should never ever be concerned about being constructive or educational towards the straight world. The incitement of our work should never be to please someone else. Or ourselves, for that matter. That’s easy to forget”. We drink up and Kristofer is eager to get home to his daughter. The crew of Homotropolis is excited to see what the future holds for this talented writer.


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Photo: Rodion Kutsaev

Catching that holiday spirit 16


BOTH THE SWEDES AND THE DANES GO ALL IN DURING CHRISTMAS SEASON AND WHILE MANY TRADITIONS ARE THE SAME ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BRIDGE THERE ARE ALSO NOTICEABLE DIFFERENCES. HERE IS AN OVERVIEW OF SOME OF THE CUSTOMS ALONG WITH OUR IDEAS OF WHAT NOT TO MISS DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON.

From November until after New Year both Copenhagen and Malmรถ are dressed up for Christmas with garlands hanging high over the pedestrian streets, colourful fairy lights in the trees and shops competing for the most festive and fabulous window displays. COUNTING DOWN FOR CHRISTMAS The real countdown for Christmas in Denmark and Sweden begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas when the first out of four candles is being lit on the Advent wreath or Advent candlestick. Each Sunday will see one more candle burning until the last Sunday before Christmas Eve where all four candles will be alight and the holidays have finally arrived. You will also notice calendar candles marked with numbers from 1 to 24. Every day in December these are being lit and then blown out again to keep track of the days until Christmas Eve. LUCIA LIGHTS UP THE DARKNESS Every year on 13 December Lucia processions take place in which a group of people wearing white gowns and candles walk slowly through the darkness singing traditional Lucia songs. While this custom is far more popular and widespread in Sweden it has also become quite common in Denmark. The procession is made up of the Lucia Bride who will wear a wreath with candles on her head followed by her handmaidens who all carry candles and finally the star boys who carry stars on sticks. >> 17


Make no mistake, Lucia is a big thing on the Swedish side. Competitions take place both nationally as well as in most Swedish cities in order to decide which candidate will get the role of Lucia. Lucia celebrations also include eating “lussekatter” which are sweet saffron-flavoured buns shaped like curled-up cats with raisins as eyes. EAT & DRINK Whether you are in Denmark or Sweden for the holiday season you will sooner or later find yourself with a mug full of hot “glögg” (or “gløgg” depending on which side of the bridge you are on). Glögg is mulled wine and while recipes vary widely you can expect it to be spiced with cinnamon, cloves and star anise and served in a mug with raisins and blanched almonds.

huge “smörgåsbord” consisting of a wide selection of foods. But classics include Christmas ham, meat balls, pickled herring and special fish dishes.

Every year on 13 December Lucia processions take place in which a group of people wearing white gowns and candles walk slowly through the darkness singing traditional Lucia songs.

While you will usually have a “lussekatt” to accompany a mug of glögg in Sweden, the Danes prefer to pair gløgg with “æbleskiver” which literally translates into apple slices although you will usually not find any trace of apples in them. Æbleskiver nowadays are soft, fluffy pancake puffs shaped as balls, sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with jam for dipping.

The traditional Christmas dinner in Denmark is either roast duck or roast pork with crackling served with boiled and sweet potatoes, red cabbage and brown gravy. The dessert will most probably be “ris à l’amande”, a special rice pudding made with whipped cream, vanilla and chopped almonds served with hot cherry sauce. The Swedes prefer to celebrate Christmas with a 18

Photo: Cecilia Larsson / imagebanksweden.se

CHRISTMAS EVE Both in Denmark and Sweden Christmas is celebrated on 24 December. Almost every home will have a decorated Christmas tree with a silver or gold star on top, and one of the main events that day is the lighting of the tree which happens after dinner.


Photo: Copenhagenmediacenter / Christian Alsing

Once dinner is over the Christmas tree will be lit and in many families it is common to dance around the tree while singing Christmas carols. Some homes might be lucky enough to get a visit from Santa Claus himself, who is there to distribute presents and wish everybody a merry Christmas. COPENHAGEN CLASSICS Both visitors as well as locals will usually make sure to visit Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen between 19. November and 24. December when the whole of Tivoli is a winter wonderland full of lights, hearts and impressive decorations. Do not miss the beautiful illuminations over the lake or a visit to the stalls in Tivoli selling food, sweets, crafts and hot drinks. Another must-see and a true gay classic in Copenhagen is

Centralhjørnet - the oldest gay bar in Copenhagen. From November this cosy pub is so heavily decorated for Christmas that it must be seen to be believed. Humongous baubles, a serious overload of glitter and massive kitsch-tastic centrepieces along with the friendly service and welcoming atmosphere will surely get you in the Christmas spirit. Christmas markets can be found in picturesque Nyhavn harbour and in Freetown Christiania where the Grey Hall is being turned into an oriental themed Yuletide fair from 9. to 20. December. Other sure signs of the holidays approaching is the enormous Christmas tree on the City Hall Square, the opening of the ice rink at Frederiksberg Runddel in late November and the Royal Copenhagen Christmas Tables which is an exhibition where artists and celebrities decorate creative - and at times quite alternative - Christmas tables by using Royal Copenhagen porcelain. >> 19


MUST-SEES IN MALMÖ Many Copenhageners as well as tourists visit Malmö in December to enjoy the festive atmosphere and do some gift shopping. The pedestrian street located just a few minutes walk from the Central Station is decorated with suspended garlands and the Christmas setting on Gustav Adolfs Torg is especially worth visiting with various activities, craft stalls and a carousel roundabout. Do look up at the huge trees on the square which light up in every colour of the rainbow. Close to Triangeln Station you find Bee Bar, Malmö’s only official LGBT café, and this friendly place always makes a great stop for lunch or something hot to drink. Emporia shopping mall, conveniently located just next to Hyllie train station, is one of the best shopping centers in Scandinavia and easily recognised by the rainbow colours that light up the parking garage year round. You will find more than 200 shops and around 20 cafés and restaurants all pimped for Christmas as well as an impressive rooftop which has not only amazing views but also an ice rink on it with free entrance.

Photo: Miriam Preis / imagebanksweden.se


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CAFES & RESTAURANTS 12. JAILHOUSE RESTAURANT STUDIESTRÆDE 12 1455 COPENHAGEN JAILHOUSECPH.DK

INFORMATION 21. CHECKPOINT KØBENHAVN VESTERGADE 18E, 4 1210 COPENHAGEN AIDSFONDET.DK/HIVTEST 22. COPENHAGEN PRIDE TOURIST INFORMATION KNABROSTRÆDE 20, ST 1210 COPENHAGEN COPENHAGENPRIDE.DK PLEASE VISIT OUR TOURIST INFORMATION LOCATED IN THE HEART OF COPENHAGEN FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT WHAT OUR BEAUTIFUL CITY HAS TO OFFER.

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WE´RE NICE AND OFFER FREE COFFEE AND WIFI. VISIT COPENHAGENPRIDE.DK FOR OPENING HOURS.

17. AMIGO SAUNA STUDIESTRÆDE 31 1455 COPENHAGEN AMIGO-SAUNA.DK BODY BIO KINGOSGADE 7 1623 COPENHAGEN BODYBIO.DK

BARS & NIGHTLIFE

MISSING?

18. SLM COPENHAGEN LAVENDELSTRÆDE 17 1462 KØBENHAVN K SLM-CPH.DK

CRUISING 19. ØRSTEDSPARKEN NØRREVOLDGADE 1 1358 COPENHAGEN

DO YOU THINK YOU NEED TO BE ON ONE OF OUR MAPS?

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1. WONK STORTORGET 11 211 22 MALMÖ WONK.SE

2. BEEdata BAR April 18, 2016. 1:14400 (1 cm = 0.144 c inkatlas.com,  OpenStreetMap Map PLEASE CONTACT UScontributors. AT CREW@HOMOTROPOLIS.COM

SÖDRA FÖRSTADSGATAN 36 211 43 MALMÖ BEEBAR.SE

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Bøssehuset Mælkevejen 69D 1440 Copenhagen

Meet the girls from the clinic, the closeted gays with Christmas depressions and Bøssehuset's own cooking show in their Christmas Show. Doors open at 19:00. Entrance is 20 DKK.

FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS 2. - 17. December / 20:00 Bøssehuset (Gay House)

BØSSEHUSET'S X-MAS SHOW

WONK Malmö Stortorget 11 21122 Malmö

WONK is Malmö's largest gay club and this night it's hosting DRAG IT UP headlined by Sharon Needles known from RuPaul's Drag Race season 4. The night is hosted by Viola Spiderleg. Entrance is 160 SEK.

SATURDAY 12.11 / 23:30 - 04:00 WONK Malmö

DRAG IT UP / SHARON NEEDLES

Trinitatis Church Købmagergade 52A 1150 Copenhagen

AIDS-Fondet's Christmas concert has become a tradition for the LGBTQ community in Copenhagen and it will once again be held this year. Entrance is 125 DKK and all proceeds will be handed over to AIDS-Fondet.

SUNDAY 27.11 / 16:00 - 17:30 Trinitatis Church

AIDS-FONDET X-MAS CONCERT

KB18 Kødboderne 18 1714 Copenhagen

The very popular POPism is always drawing huge crowds to their LGBTQ parties held at KB18 in the meetpacking district in Copenhagen. Entrance is 60 DKK.

SATURDAY 19.11 / 23:55 - 05:00 KB18 Kødboderne

POPism at KB18

10 THINGS TO DO DURING WINTER

STAFF PICKS

PARTY PERFORMANCE


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WORLD AIDS DAY

Centralhjørnet Kattesundet 18, 1st floor 1458 Copenhagen

Visit Centralhjørnet's Christmas Market at the 1st floor and get overwhelmed by glittery Christmas ornaments and unique items to make your home dressed up for the holiday season. Open during weekends in November and December

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F.E.M at MEIN Studiestræde 5 GET YOUR CALENDER AT HOMOWARE NOW! 1455 Copenhagen

READY FOR 2017

The latest fall-girls party concept, F.E.M, will have it's Grand Opening Party tonight. Expect lots of love and RnB and Hip Hop music throughout the night. Entrance is free until 23:00. After 23:00 entrance is 40 DKK.

SATURDAY 12.11 / 22:00 - 04:00 To be announced

F.E.M GRAND OPENING GIRLS ONLY

OUTDOOR

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Brøndbyskoven Park Allé 4 2605 Brøndby

Take a hike with other LGBTQ people when Pan Idræt and friends once again put on their sneakers for a long walk. Distance is 6.5 kilometre. It's for everybody and it's free. Meeting point is at the forest entrance where Havnevej and Park Allé meets.

THURSDAY 17.11 / 21:00 Brøndbyskoven

PAN WALKATHON

Homoware Larsbjørnsstræde 11 1454 Copenhagen

Get your 2017 calendar featuring sexy men at Homoware. Homoware is a gay fetish shop located in the Copenhagen gay districts. They also have a webshop if interested in online shopping.

ALL DAYS / 12:00 - 20:00 WEEKEND / 12:00 - 21:00 Homoware

CALENDAR 2017

Vela Gay Club Viktoriagade 2-4 1655 Copenhagen

Copenhagen’s one and only lesbian bar is hosting a fussball tournament every other Thursday. Sign up in the bar from 21:00 - 22:00 and get ready to play ball.

THURSDAY 17.11 + 01.12 + 15.12 Vela Gay Club

FUSSBALL AT VELA


Photo: Ray_LAC / Flikr

New girls-only parties in Copenhagen A NEW FEMALE-ONLY POP-UP EVENT IS IN TOWN. THE NAME IS F.E.M AND SHE IS THE LATEST ADDITION TO THE COPENHAGEN-BASED ALL-FEMALE EVENT ORGANISERS.

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Homotropolis have had the pleasure of talking to the founders to get to know F.E.M. a little bit better. How was she born and what is her plans and ambitions for the future? ”We came up with the idea of F.E.M one night we wanted to go out, but didn't really have a spacious place to go that was solely directed at women”, the founders of F.E.M explains when asked about how they came up with the idea of making a new femaleonly event concept. The founders, who have decided to stay anonymous until the opening night, want to make a safe haven for women where they are free to celebrate their love to one another and not least to dance and have fun with other women. ”We want to make F.E.M a monthly event and have already booked our location for the following months. We just need to see if Copenhagen is ready for a monthly club. If all goes well we hope to offer small concerts as well”, the founders say. All F.E.M events will be held at MEIN at Studiestræde 5 and the Grand Opening Party will take place on 12 November 2016 at 22:00. Entrance is free for the first hour and you will be charged 40 DKK when the clock strikes 23:00. Stay updated about F.E.M and their upcoming events at facebook.com/FEMcph

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Jaxie Bearcunt Dumb, Clowny and Cunty

Gracing the cover of this issue of Homotropolis is Jaxie Bearcunt, one of the more recent queens to enter the drag scene in Copenhagen. We met up with Jaxie not only for a hilarious photoshoot but also to chat about life as a clowny and cunty queen.

When Jaxie Bearcunt sashays onto the stage you immediately notice that she is different in both style and appearance. A bearded queen with enormous eyelashes and a massive makeup who doesn’t really seem to impersonate anybody but instead mixes and plays with genres creating this very unique act that has had audiences laughing, clapping and begging for more throughout the last two years. But where does it come from and who is Jaxie Bearcunt really? “Well….Jaxie Bearcunt is a dumb queen, a clowny queen and a cunty queen. I have a vagina and it is very hairy”, says Jaxie while casually feeling her genital area just to check that all is still good down there. “I think what makes me different is the fact that I am an original. No, wait, that sounds a bit too shady. I am my own. My clowny appearance is definitely different, and I also think I mix a lot of unexpected styles while still doing fashion. I don’t do direct references much. I have a lot of fragments that I infuse and thereby create my very own style. I believe this is what makes me special besides from the fact that I am the only clowny bearded queen out there”.

GETTING OUT THERE Jaxie Bearcunt’s first time on stage was for Drag Night during Copenhagen Pride Week 2014 but the career didn’t really start to take off until April 2015 when she got picked for the lineup for Draghouse in Copenhagen. “I have been doing drag for one and a half year now, and it is clear to me that Copenhagen still could use some upgrades. I mean, I think we are doing an okay job now considering that Denmark is a small country and Copenhagen is not a very big capital, and I do love the shows and pageants that are being organised from time to time, but we need a more steady base in Copenhagen. A venue devoted to drag like you can find in many other big cities in Europe. I never know when my next gig is and where it will be, so we need a place with weekly shows where guests can always show up and know there will be drag shows”, says Jaxie who has also learned that she’d better work in order to move forward with her drag career. >>

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“You really have to fight hard to brand yourself and get yourself out there. You have to be constantly present on social media and sell yourself in every possible way. I do a lot to keep Jaxie alive and to stay relevant and I actually do think it is quite tough here if you want to make a career out of it”. Jaxie Bearcunt’s name came into existence while brainstorming on ideas from the musical Chicago: “I was with my friend and we were working on this Chicago act where we would be Velma and Roxie, and then suddenly it came to me that instead of Roxie Hart I should be Jaxie Hart. But then I didn’t really like Hart very much so I thought, well, since I am both a bear and a cunt my surname should be Bearcunt. And that was it. She was named”.

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BIGGER DREAMS Although Jaxie is still one of the new queens in town experience comes fast and with that comes ambition and dreams. “For me it is important to not think too far ahead because it will be so frustrating if I don’t really go anywhere. I think the drag world right now is based on certain people seeing you and reaching out to you, so you need to be discovered somehow. I myself get more and more comfortable with doing drag and I actually like it more for every performance I do. I used to be quite lazy with my costumes, but now I am excited to do it and willing to get only a few hours of sleep at night in order to do what I really love doing. I am getting more and more into doing drag and I feel that the more I like it the bigger my dreams become”.


INTENTIONALLY UNEDUCATED Although Jaxie is eager to pursue a drag career she is also very insisting in being true to her own style and aesthetics. “I can do Röyksopp with skulls and be very robotic and weird because I like it when it becomes more serious and artistic, but my clowny side is the most common one and the one I pull out for most of my performances. I always get my inspiration from something that really makes me laugh. Like reality-tv with Paris Hilton looking for her new best friend. I mean, that is so ridiculous and so funny at the same time. Then I take that idea and start working with it until I find out how I can use it. My idea process is very slow compared to others because I don’t start out with a song I want to do. I often start out with an idea and a story I want to tell and then I dig in and find songs that I like or songs that match afterwards. It takes a long time but it works for me”, Jaxie explains. “And I have to say that I am not a very educated drag queen. I am not too familiar with drag herstory like many of the other queens are. I only recently watched “The Wizard of Oz” and I haven’t really seen most of the movies that all the other drag queens believe you need to see. And I think it gives me freedom to go my own ways when I don’t feel I need to pick specific directions because I got schooled to do certain things”. Jaxie Bearcunt can be experienced live in VEGA on December 10th along with several other Danish queens when Draghouse opens up the doors for the Christmas edition.

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Bid for World Pride in Copenhagen OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCED Copenhagen Pride and Happy Copenhagen were in Montpellier in October along with pride representatives from all around the world for the joint InterPride & EPOA annual general meeting in which Copen-hagen officially announced the bid for hosting World Pride in 2021.

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The ambitious plans for hosting both WorldPride and EuroGames in Copenhagen in 2021 are moving forward. Most recently Copenhagen Pride was in Montpellier to officially announce in front of InterPride’s Executive Committee that the Danish capital intend to bid for World Pride in 2021. “We were very excited to experience the enthusiasm that emanated from the spectators towards us as we announced it. And we are so pleased that all other major Nordic pride organisations back our bid 100% and regard Copenhagen 2021 as a regional bid that will influence the entire region positively on LGBTQ+ issues”, says Lars Henriksen, chairman of Copenhagen Pride. The conference which took place over 5 days also included an extensive workshop program as well as an exhibition area in which Copenhagen Pride had a very colourful stand serving to promote Copenhagen as the ideal host city for World Pride.

The several hundreds of international pride delegates - including members of Copenhagen Pride - also took part in the postponed Montpellier Pride Parade on Saturday 15 October. Initially Montpellier Pride Parade was planned to take place back in July but got cancelled in the wake of the Nice attack on 14 July due to security concerns.

"We were very excited to experience the enthusiasm that emanated from the spectators towards us as we announced it"

Detvilde vildehofliv hofliv--en enweekend weekendom om1700-tallet 1700-tallet Det Oplevtalks, talks,maskerade, maskerade,film, film,walks, walks,pudder pudderog ogparykker parykker Oplev Lørdagog ogsøndag søndag05.11.2016 05.11.2016og og06.11.2016 06.11.2016 Lørdag Semere merepå pånatmus.dk natmus.dk Se 35


NEW YEAR'S EVE QUEER TANGO MARATHON New Years Eve 2016 will be marked with a tango marathon when more than 100 queer tango dancers from all over Europe gather in Copenhagen to dance their way into 2017 in an ambitious tango marathon. The marathon is organised by Queer Tango Copenhagen that was founded in 2014 to promote and create a space for dancing queer tango in Copenhagen. ”We want to promote queer tango as a way of dancing tango without gender norms and roles along with creating a safe space for LGBTQ++ people and friends to do this”, H Tristan Karlsen who is the Chairperson at Queer Tango Copenhagen explains when asked about the purpose of Queer Tango Copenhagen. Since the founding of Queer Tango Copenhagen the organisation has organised queer tango events like milongas i.e. tango dance parties, workshops and classes with great success and this New Year they have decided to 'go big' again with a queer tango marathon over the New Year's Eve weekend. ”The idea for the marathon was born during this year's queer tango marathon in Oldenburg, Germany, in April. After the last dance we were a group of people from Malmö and Copenhagen who sat down together and basically just decided to make it happen. And it will! We are almost sold out, and around 100 queer tango dancers from all over Europe will gather at a wonderful tango studio here in Copenhagen, to dance, eat, drink, and socialise”, H Tristan explains. The marathon will start on Friday 30. December at 18.00 and the event will last until New Year's Day at 18.00. You can read more about Queer Tango Copenhagen and the event at www.queertango.dk

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WISH LIST #4 SUPREME BACKPACK

#5 URKIOLA PITCHER

#6 FINE & DANDY COMB

Get your hands on this black leather backpack by Royal Republiq. Stylish and raw all at once.

Serve your beverages in style with this elegant pitcher from Georg Jensen designed by Patricia Urquiola. Volume 1 L.

Brass comb in a timeless design from Men's Society made to last a lifetime.

DKK 1.500 www.magasin.dk

DKK 1.699 www.georgjensen.com

DKK 189 www.designdelicatessen.dk


#1 BEOLIT 15

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Wireless and stylish. This speaker from B&O Play comes in polar blue, champagne, shaded rosa and natural.

Create you own lit up messages on this A4-sized light box from A Little Lovely Company.

Rustic candle holder in ceramics. Use it as a modern Advent wreath during December to welcome Christmas.

DKK 3.799 www.illumsbolighus.dk

DKK 295 www.designdelicatessen.dk

DKK 500 www.moods.dk

BAMBI & HEELS Norwegian photographer Julie Pike’s work printed on 250g photo quality paper. The artwork is framed and comes in 30x40 cm and 50x70 cm and is just wonderful. This graphic design supports UNICEF. FROM EUR 40 www.papercollective.com

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BEHIND THE CURTAINS In every issue of Homotropolis we hand the pen over to a person who feels like sharing a personal or private story from the real world. It can be a confession, a complaint, an unspoken truth or a story that simply takes our readers behind the curtains of LGBTQ+ life. Feel like contributing? Write us on crew@homotropolis.com

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Confessions of a trans woman By Tanya Randstoft

I wasn’t born like most people. I woke up as a 6 year old girl in a hospital bed after a bout of very serious meningitis. I lost most of my childhood memories. I still knew language, knew who my mother was, and I knew I was a girl. The problem was, it turns out that everyone else was under the impression that I was supposed to be a boy. Obviously, I started to tell everyone that they had made a mistake, that I really was a girl. Everyone accepted it was a mistake. As we all know, wrong designation of gender happens to over a percent of the population, so it isn’t a big deal, right? My mom got in touch with another family this happened to, and we exchanged clothes and toys so their little boy could have my stuff, and I could live as the girl I was supposed to be. I liked the new dresses I had gotten and went to school the first day after my illness in a cute dress that made me feel comfortable in my own skin. I got along well in school. I was a creative child and loved drawing and music classes best. My Little Pony was all the craze back then, and my grandparents got me a strawberry-colored one for my birthday. When I turned nine, I was treated with puberty blockers so my body would not start to develop typical male features. Avoiding physical stressors like that is important, and my doctor spent some time with my mom advising her on what could be done to keep me a happy child. Three years later I started estrogen injections so I could develop properly alongside the rest of the girls in my class. My girlfriends and I discussed everything from nails and clothes to boys and homework. I went on to study photography, and worked as an event photographer in the city for some years before I met my husband. We adopted two children. Living in our house in suburbia with my little family, I have my own photo studio where I do mostly family, wedding and maternity photography. It’s a good life. Normal. Most of that, unfortunately, never happened. I did have meningitis, and did wake up suffering from amnesia. And I did awake with the belief, the certainty in fact, that I was a girl. But I also knew, for some reason, that I couldn’t tell anyone. I knew deep down that something terrible would happen if I did. But I didn’t know what. How could I? All I knew was that it would be the end of my life as I knew it if I did. I was told about my illness, and the doctors could not tell yet if my retrograde amnesia would be permanent or not, but seemed happy that I had retained practically all of my functional memory, language and other skills. But they couldn’t know the full extent of what memories had remained. At the time they probably didn’t even know what an alternative gender identity was, or that more than 1% of the population has a different gender identity than their designated gender from birth. While it is now known in academic circles, the knowledge still doesn’t seem to have fully penetrated into the actual application of medicine and health care. Many transgender narratives start with early childhood memories. Obviously, mine doesn’t. It is, however, still fascinating to me to this day that along with functional memory the parts that were preserved through my illness were my gender identity and expectations of gender expression—my own and others’. I even remembered both of my names—my given name and my secret “girl name.” The thing I do have in common with many of these narratives, however, are the feelings of shame. For a decade after I awoke, the only word I had for myself, for what I was feeling, was the word wrong.

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Mom told me stories about the child I was before. I was quiet, and “easy.” She worked a lot, and since there was no one else to take care of me, I was dragged along for many evening meetings. She told me I would amuse myself quietly for hours as long as I had paper and crayons. I heard anecdotes about colleagues who were amazed I was so well-behaved, how they couldn’t bring their own rowdy boys along. I was a bullied little kid. Between my shyness and effeminate way of expressing myself, it seemed I was always a target. More than once I was sent out of the classroom to join “the other boys” in their fight over a ball, when all I wanted to do was to sit inside with the girls and draw or play. I even treated my “boy” toys differently. Like many, I was given numerous matchbox cars, but where theirs got beaten up from crashes and wild chases in sandbox dunes, mine remained pristine. I loved my little cars. I loved putting them in order by color or brand or later by metrics such as speed, looks or “sportiness.” Like many transgender narratives, mine includes crossdressing from an early age. Like many trans girls, I wore Mom’s t-shirts as dresses when no one was around (which was quite often). I would tie off my new “dress” with a belt, complete the ensemble with a pair of her clipon earrings, and marvel at my feminine self in the fullsized, bedroom mirror. Unlike so many others, however, I was never discovered. I was never confronted, even though one day I would surely have to confront myself. The bullying changed somewhat in 7th grade when I discovered a knack for running. It stops being amusing for bullies to shout that one runs like a girl when one suddenly finds themselves one of the fastest runners in the school. I had discovered an important trans survival tactic: the art of disguise. Over time, I learned to lumber about in a more manly way. To move from the shoulders instead of the hips, to be aware of and control my arm and hand movements. Men do not gesture overtly in Western culture. In short, I learned to “pass” as a boy. It was, in a word, exhausting. It felt wrong and unnatural, like a violation of my true self, but I got hassled a lot less for my trouble. In learning to run from my bullies, I was really just running from myself.

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My love of art took a change from drawing to photography in my early teens. I got my first camera for my first holiday outside the country, a trip to Portugal. By the time I was 13, Mom had recognized in me a talent and passion for the medium. She got me a second-hand, professional-quality camera. Photography put a barrier between me and the world. I could observe through the lens without interacting. Like any Viking warrior princess, I needed a shield. I also developed an interest in personal computers while they were still in their infancy, and jumped at the chance to own one as soon as they became affordable. I started out learning to write computer games from books and magazines that were available at the library. This opened up a whole new world to me, one which would ultimately form the basis of a career. Throughout high-school I claimed the title of nerd proudly. In an odd way, it provided yet another barrier, but at least I could hide behind that one with other nerds like me. This was the time when the Internet was becoming popular. It was also in high-school I learned the word for what I was: transsexual. I read about it, gorged myself on the little history there was. I was not alone in the universe. The Net became a study in irony for folks like me. On the one hand, I could finally construct an identity that felt authentic. It’s easy to “pass” when one’s life is constructed entirely through text. I knew in my heart that, ultimately, cyberspace was little more than a temporarily useful prison, one from which I’d have to someday break free into the real world. It was a closet with perks, but still a closet. After high school, and early in my career as a programmer, I moved to Copenhagen. It provided the anonymity of a big city. People are quick to notice difference in a small, country community like the one where I grew up, and they talk. A lot. Copenhagen represented, for me, the first cracks in all those walls I had erected. I went outside crossdressed for the first time. I don’t remember much about that night aside from being very drunk on my own feelings (and daiquiris).


"I spent the next decade in and out of the closet. I would discard my female clothes every once in a while, then buy new and start the cycle all over again"

I was terrified yet thrilled. Subdued but elated. Nervous and ecstatic. I wore a red dress that I had bought that same day in a secondhand shop. I had spent weeks visiting the store every now and again, sneaking peaks at the dress from the men’s section. You’d have thought I was robbing a bank when I finally carried my sartorial prize to the sales counter. Surprisingly, with the help of a bra stuffed with 3 pairs of socks, the dress fit me well. So I had finally made my first public appearance as Tanya, and for the first time on this journey through the dark terrain of gender dysphoria, I had glimpsed light on the horizon. I suppose one could argue that my transition began then and there, but I was still far from understanding it fully as such. There were many more twists and turns along the way, and I fought myself every step before I finally made the conscious decision to embrace life as a female, the life I was meant to live. I knew I would need help, that this was too much for a person to undertake without support. So after having been out a few more times as Tanya, I made contact with the Danish healthcare system. This, as many have discovered, was a mistake, but I had so many questions. What would it be like to tell my secret to the whole world, especially since I knew no one in the same situation? How would I be able to retain a job? How would I live? The Danish transgender healthcare system, Sexological Clinic (SC), wasn’t any help. If anything, they were quite the opposite. Depression and suicidal tendencies are very common in our community. After all, one can only take so much of being called a freak, a monster, classified alongside pedophiles and rapists, suffer the loss of family and friends and otherwise be made to feel as if they belong nowhere and deserve nothing, before they internalize and act upon those feelings. Specialists in transgender medical care should understand, and usually do in most countries, that aiding us in our transition to another gender is necessary to heal us of these ills. >>

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And yet SC considers them disqualifying factors from treatment. I went looking for answers and found none. Instead, I was diagnosed with clinical depression and was told outright that I was not eligible for medical or surgical transition because of that depression, which of course, only made things worse. Denied the possibility of treatment, how could I go on? It is a vicious cycle that is all too common where SC is involved. I spent the next decade in and out of the closet. I would discard my female clothes every once in a while, then buy new and start the cycle all over again. Going out as Tanya helped relieve my dysphoria, but when Monday morning came, back in the closet she went, and I had to once again present a male face to the world. I would be nearly catatonic on Sundays. I knew this couldn’t go on. The relief lessened; the dysphoria worsened. I attempted suicide five times during that decade (also a disqualifier for treatment with SC). Thankfully, I failed. After attempt number five, I woke up in my bed after having taken all the pills I could find the night before, and I was certain of one thing: I would either transition or finally succeed at one of these attempts. I chose transition.

I began the scary process of coming out to the rest of the world 44

I had met some other trans women along the way who had transitioned successfully. They provided a template, examples of lives in which I could mirror myself. Many of them had also failed to find help with SC, but that didn’t deter them. They helped one another instead, not only by supporting each other mentally and emotionally through the process, but by creating a network skilled at circumventing the restrictions of the Danish medical system. And they were happy to help me, too. I didn’t have to do this alone. I began the scary process of coming out to the rest of the world. As is usually the case, I was met with reactions that ran the gamut from one friend, who exclaimed, “It’s about fucking time,” to that of a family member who no longer wants me around his children. I lost some friends, and gained some new ones. Mom took it well. She’s adjusting to the idea that she has a daughter, when she assumed she had a son all along. >>


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Work presented a challenge. I had a good job and didn’t want to lose it. I got some unexpected help from a trans woman I’ve never even met. A colleague of my boss’s wife, she had also transitioned at work, so my boss was at least somewhat familiar with the process. I had begun to present as female outside of work, to relearn some of those feminine mannerisms that once came so naturally to me, and affected some other changes which did not escape the notice of my boss. One day he called me into his office and asked point blank if I was changing my gender. Apparently, I reminded him of his wife’s colleague. After a brief shot of panic, I discovered he was not only accepting, but willing to help with my transition at work. There was talk around the office, but isn’t there always? Suddenly, I learned through back channels, my shoe choices were the subject of gossip around the coffee machine. I impressed my boss with some color choices in a web layout, and he explained how he was “no good at such things, that his wife took care of choosing colors.” Actually, I explained, I had learned color theory in art class. Oh well, clearly, there is work to be done yet. That was around three years ago, give or take, and a lot has happened since. Thankfully, unlike my first attempt at early childhood, I remember all of it. I married a wonderful trans woman from the U.S. who I met online. We share so many things, and maybe none so important as understanding. I was the first trans woman ever elected to the board of Copenhagen Pride. I fight so that the fantasy I began this story with can become a reality for young trans kids everywhere. It’s an uphill battle, but it’s working. Amnesty International has kindly taken up the fight to force SC to adopt a proper perspective toward the medical treatment of trans persons. A popular meme suggests that trans folk do not experience depression, do not seek refuge in drug addiction or even that ultimate pain killer, suicide, because we are ill. We do these things because society is ill, and we must navigate their sick world. So we fight to heal them, and in so doing heal ourselves.


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Estate Søborg - Dyssegård EJENDOMSMÆGLER MDE

39 10 16 10 Søborg Hovedgade 28, 2870 Dyssegård - 2870@estate.dk www.estate.dk


Homotropolis wishes you a merry christmas and a happy new year


Homotropolis | Issue #3 2016