25 years after the first Copenhagen pride took place, LGBTQ+ leaders from around the world marched together (see IESOGI Victor Madrigal’s tweet) on August 21 to conclude the large-scale event Copenhagen 2021 which encompassed WorldPride and the EuroGames. Several marches had been organized instead of a single Pride March in order to reduce pandemic-related risks. Similarly, the closing ceremony took place in a park.
The Human Rights Conference, which Out Leadership was a part of, was attended by personalities such as the European Union Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli, the Council of Europe Deputy Secretary-General, Bjorn Berge, the Minister of Equality of France, Élisabeth Moreno, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ann Linde, Norwegian Minister of Culture and Equality, Abid Raja, and Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. You can read Bachelet’s video statement here.
Out Leadership participated virtually in events in Malmo and Copenhagen on the following topics:
i) LGBTQ+ impact investing
ii) the role of the private sector; and
iii) the future of inclusive workplaces at the Conference
I participated in the discussion on impact investing organized by Tobias Holfelt of OutPerform, which also featured Deena Fidas of Out and Equal and Asaf Rosenheim of Social Finance Israel. We discussed the need to scale up our efforts in showcasing the existing instruments to the community and its allies but also the difficulty in assessing the “pro-LGBTQ+” quality of various investments.
I also participated in a discussion on the specific responsibility companies have regarding human rights in the societies in which they operate, including those most hostile to LGBTQ+ issues. Javier Leonor and Moïse Nzoungani shared the concrete efforts of Accenture to align its policies and practices with the human rights of LGBTQ+ people. I discussed where the United Nations Corporate Standards on LGBTQ+ issues fit in the international Human Rights Framework.
Finally, French l’Autre Cercle disseminated the results of their year-long inquiry into: What should the workplace look like in 2031 for LGBTQ+ people? during the conference. Out Leadership was engaged on stream 3 which looked specifically at trans and non-binary issues. I was quoted in describing the project: “The bar for LGBTQ+ equality will only get higher until we achieve fair, equitable, and representative workplaces globally. The ambitious « Odyssey » project gives us a glimpse of the future and what our goalpost should be. It was uplifting to look beyond the current obstacles and imagine what a truly LGBTQ+ inclusive world could look like.”
Besides the discussions on how to advance LGBTQ+ rights in the context of politicized homophobia/transphobia and fragmentation of the movement, the athletic side gathered 2,000 athletes from more than 50 countries.
WorldPride is held every two years and will next take place in Sydney in 2023.