Soon, the streets of Copenhagen will be decorated with rainbow-coloured flags and thousands of happy people driving around on open trucks shouting messages of love and freedom – the latter being this year’s theme.
Pride week has begun and lasts from 13 to 21 August, with the annual Pride Parade on 20 August.
CBS is attending the parade for the fifth time, and if you wish to join in, just go to Frederiksberg Town Hall (Rådhus) at 12 o’clock.
“All students and staff are welcome to join the parade no matter their sexuality or gender identity. This is our chance to show our support for diversity and to help fight prejudice and oppression,” says Jesper Bjørn, head of CBS’ Pride Team.
Eradicating prejudice and helping CBS employees and students to be themselves are some of the important reasons for attending the Pride Parade, according to Sofie Sørensen.
She is a student of Finance and Strategic Management at CBS and volunteers on CBS’ Pride Team, handling logistics and design.
“If you are constantly hiding a part of yourself, for example your sexuality, from your classmates, because you fear what they might say or think, you are not being your true self. And I believe that if you are not honest about who you are, you can’t thrive – not as a student nor as a person,” Sofie says and adds:
“Being a part of the Pride Parade is a way of showing everyone that CBS students are not all Conservatives in blue colours. You can belong to the LGTBQIA+ community and be a student at CBS. We are just as diverse as any other place – and I’m really grateful for that,” she says.
CBS Management supports Pride
According to Jesper Bjørn, the CBS strategy aims to attract a diverse group of students and staff in terms of gender, ethnicity and demography.
He also believes that CBS is obliged to share its researchers’ knowledge of gender and diversity.
“We have so many talented researchers in this field and have therefore arranged various talks and workshops during Pride Week, where we can share this knowledge with society at large and our own staff and students at CBS as well as with companies interested in learning more about gender and diversity.”
He is pleased that gender and inclusion have become strong themes on the agenda in society and at CBS in recent years.
“The world is craving more knowledge on gender balance and diversity. Luckily, our management has seen this and supports CBS providing this knowledge in different ways, such as Pride. I think that’s really cool,” Jesper Bjørn says.
The fight continues
One researcher at CBS who knows a lot about the ideals and values behind Pride is Jannick Friis Christensen.
His work as a postdoc at the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy includes investigating the collaboration among the Pride organiser and its corporate sponsors and partners.
He is also noticing that the messages highlighted during Pride are becoming more widespread and mainstream in some parts of the world.
44 percent of the LGBTQIA+ community report that they often or always avoid holding hands in public with their same-sex partnerJesper Bjørn, head of CBS’ Pride Team
“Pride has moved on from being a protest movement demonstrating against discrimination and for the rights of a particular group of people, namely the LGBTQIA+ community. Now, the movement has also successfully managed to tap into the idea of universal human rights, at least in our part of the world. This means that more people can relate to Pride – also those not self-identifying as LGBTQIA+,” he explains.
But even though the freedom to love anyone you want and be just the person you are is celebrated in some areas of Europe, there is still a long way to go, according to the CBS researcher.
“Homosexuality is still criminalised in many countries. And while we’ve come far here in Denmark, we are hardly perfect. Still 44 percent of the LGBTQIA+ community report that they often or always avoid holding hands in public with their same-sex partner. And 15 percent felt discriminated against at work in the last year and many, perhaps due to fear of discrimination, also remain closeted. Generally, people within the LGBTQIA+ community score lower on well-being than the general population,” he says.
You don’t have to love glitter
Therefore, supporting Pride and its values is crucial, according to Jesper Bjørn and Sofie Sørensen.
“It is also important to stress that you don’t have to love glitter or be really extrovert to join the Parade. There are thousands of ways to express your gender whether you are gay or straight or somewhere in-between,” says Sofie.
“The key is to march for something we can all believe in, which is the freedom to be who you are and love whom you love. Also, it’s a great chance for students and staff to bond over this common cause. So really, there are no excuses – come and join the parade,” Jesper Bjørn concludes.