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As he began to understand his sexuality even more, Tuling started exploring online dating sites. This was where he met Morten Nielsen, a Dane. They met, fell in love and got married. My family did not have any problems that I have chosen to marry Alvin. For Tuling, Denmark has lived up to its reputation of being one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world, and a forerunner in liberal acceptance of the LGBTQ community. Denmark also became the first country in the world to recognise same-sex partnerships in Same-sex marriages were legalised in July ILGA Europe.
Sabaah spokesperson Fahad Saeed says that the government has been slow in identifying and responding to hate crimes and hate speeches against the LGBTQ community. In , the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights reported a total of hate crimes in Denmark as recorded by the police. Racism and xenophobia were the most commonly cited motivations for hate crimes, followed by bias against Muslims, and bias against LGBTQ people. Police are not sensitive enough to recognise these issues.
In a study conducted by the National Institute of Public Health, one in three lesbian or bisexual women experienced sexual violence, while one in five have considered suicide. Only one in every 12 heterosexual people surveyed considered suicide.
Successful transition As the Danish LGBTQ community faces its own multiple challenges in society, immersion and transition can prove to be even more difficult for gay foreigners and refugees. But there is always a way to cope.
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Back in India, coming out proved to be difficult for Kanuga, who constantly had to battle self-hate and fear of prejudice in society. Having lived in London and Aarhus for several years, he realised a more liberal society has helped him to better understand and accept his sexuality.
No one cares. I would not have been able to come out in a hostile environment. They are very open-minded and liberal. Who knows? He will not write poetry and pursue his beloved to the ends of the Earth.
Dating in Denmark can be tricky for foreigners: Here are some tips
Dating in Denmark is hard, even for the Danes, and it will probably be hard for you too. This essay is from a series I wrote shortly after I arrived in Denmark. The line drawings are my own. In a land with few limits, Americans draw a firm line between work and sex, based on the rather prissy notion that no one should have to put up with sexual come-ons or even sexual talk in order to keep a job, and that anyone who does should be compensated with a hefty legal settlement. All I can think about at a Danish Christmas party is how much an American lawyer could earn off the proceedings.
One stalk of corporate mistletoe, I am sure, would generate more than enough business for him to redecorate his office with the high-priced furniture at Illums Bolighus and his wife with silver from George Jensen.
Call a lawyer This American concept of sexual harassment has been difficult to explain to my Danish male co-workers, who like to tell saucy jokes in the office, and whose hands have occasionally ended up attached to my hair, shoulders, and bottom until I threaten to call an American lawyer. For them, I offer this easy-to-follow rule: Anything I might want to discuss with, say, Danish heartthrob Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in a jacuzzi over two flutes of champagne, I do not want to discuss with you, married father of four, over six pages of computer printouts on letterhead.
Anything I might want to do with Nikolaj by candlelight, I do not want to do with you by fluorescent light. The overfamiliarity between co-workers is just one of the reasons Christmas partys are difficult for foreigners. The structure of the party, the long tables and the fixed seats, is a challenge in itself.
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At American parties, the format is loose and everybody mingles, which allows one to break free of a bore with a number of convenient excuses, such as Hey! I must say hi. At a Danish Christmas party, you sit at a seat assigned to you by luck of the draw or cruel party planners and are expected to chat for seven hours. Snaps, a Viking tradition What do Danish people say to each other for seven hours at those tables? Of course, I know what two close friends say to each other, but what about people who have nothing in common but a copy machine? This is where snaps comes in. Snaps is also just the beginning of an enjoyable program of Danish food.
Of course, the Christmas party has its own delicacies, most of which, taken off the table and reassembled like a puzzle, would form a large, live, and angry pig. Except, of course, for the parts which are herring. When you are a foreigner, Danish people thrill to making you try everything, the odder the better, and watching your reaction when you discover that there is an extra layer of pork paste underneath the bacon and mushrooms. If other foreigners are reading this, the secret is to take small bites of everything and smile a lot.
When fellow partygoers are distracted, you can soak up the alcohol in your stomach with bread and butter. Drinking songs After the almond has been found in the ris a la mande and the snaps topped off with wine and aquavit, the Viking drinking songs begin. At any rate, everyone but you will know all the words to these songs, and enjoy singing them enough not to notice you are sitting against the back wall looking confused.
For foreigners, it is time to go to the loo and pretend to wash your hands for about an hour. By the time you get back, the deejay will be playing. This is a mixed blessing, since from what I can tell, there is a paragraph in the Danish constitution that requires Danish deejays to play George Michael every five songs.
But loud music means that you no longer have to pretend to talk to the people next to you, and, freed from your chair, you can shift around and talk to the people you actually like. Every once in a while the deejay plays an old Danish Eurovision song contest entry, and then it becomes easy to tell the locals from the foreigners again. The Danes are the ones on their feet in ecstatic remembrance, while the foreigners are sitting down looking bewildered, wondering when George Michael will come back. Ping-pong tables By this point in the evening, those people who plan to score have chosen their target, and perhaps even their location.
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Some people leave together, but even at home and in bed, I have to wonder how much fun this drunken sex can possibly be. How much sexual technique can these snaps-soaked middle managers have to offer?
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For the women, it must be about as erotic as having the statue of Bishop Absaolm fall on top of you. Years ago, before my very first Christmas party, I was told that people would go wild at the party but then forget the whole thing the next day. Somehow, nobody ever does. This essay is from a series I wrote in co-operation with the Danish tabloid BT in , shortly after I arrived in Denmark. Here we were, foreigners, and we were clearly not getting our cut of the criminal millions being made on the streets of Copenhagen. All we did was go to work every day and pay Danish taxes.
We figured we had better get started. After considering a variety of profitable crimes, we decided on a male prostitution ring, with the idea that our workers could do internal projects on slow nights. But our male escorts would not provide sex: Instead, they would offer romance.
Longing looks and sweet words Foreign men play a curious role in the world of Danish romance, since they can sometimes make a Danish woman realize exactly what she is missing: A man in Madrid once told me that Danish girls on vacation were easy. Well, no wonder. They are for sending roses to your wife or girlfriend, and in France, to your mistress too. In foreign lands, men buy women jewelry and furs to win their favors: Some even earn a lot of money and pay all of the household expenses. Sometimes Danish women capture these men alive and bring them back to Denmark, where the government punishes them by making them sit through infinite Danish courses and refusing to allow the couple to live in sublet apartments.
Longing looks and sweet words Of course, there are already a large variety of foreign men available right here in Denmark. Many are tall, dark, and handsome, many are Muslim, and many are lovely people — one of my closest friends in Denmark now has a Pakistani boyfriend who treats her like a queen. That said, one of the sad lessons of a multicultural society is that fools come in every color. Some of them see Danish girlfriends as temps until their future Mrs. Muslim right comes along. I have met these embarrassments-to-Allah; I have occasionally removed their hands from my inner thigh on the dance floor at the Copenhagen Jazzhouse.
They get in the way of truly nice immigrant guys getting laid. Maybe, instead of importing romantic manpower, we could train Danish men to do better. In return, Danish men could provide exchange courses in the things they do well: And, darling Pia, it just might cut the immigration rate. Plenty of men will choose another destination when they find out that in Denmark, they must help do the dishes. January 10, by Kay Xander Mellish. The two-speed bicycle and the flexible word. How to date a Dane: The two-speed bicycle and the flexible word [ 6: November 1, by Kay Xander Mellish.