THERE IS STILL HOPE
There is plenty to be afraid, worried, scared, concerned, and frightened about. Observing the turmoil in the White House is enough to make you wonder about the sanity of the times we are living in; add to this the silly, childish and obnoxious twittering by a President, who lacks simple manners and is more concerned about his own ego than the fate of humanity, and you could easily conclude that what you are watching is yet another Netflix or HBO series, not the reality we are actually confronted with. The tragedy in Barcelona must certainly also leave all of us wondering where it will all end, but contrary to what we see when Trup twitters, we are left uplifted by the reaction of both citizens and politicians in Barcelona coming together to mourn the dead and injured, and calling for all of us to continue to live our lives and love and care for each other.
All of this was in the back of my head, when yesterday I joined thousands of others for the annual Pride Parade through the streets of Copenhagen, to celebrate DIVERSITY. Close to 40.000 participated in the parade, and around 300.000 watched, waved and cheered from the sidewalks. My heart leaped and jumped again and again because this cheerful, optimistic and friendly gathering was actually happening right in front of my eyes, and it struck me that maybe this was the clearest sign of how marginal Trump will be seen in a historical perspective, both as a person and as a president. It was also an example of the type of RESISTANCE that will ultimately bring Trump and his gang down. What ever world-view has been constructed in his head through his up-bringing, and what ever curves and twists have been added to his thinking about the world by Steve Bannon and others, who represent a violent, simplistic and manipulated view of the world, at the end of the day, there will be MORE OF US. Trust me!
There are millions of people around the world, including in the United States, who believe that LGBT rights are fundamental human rights that need to be PROTECTED THROUGH PEACEFUL PROTEST AND RESISTANCE whenever they are threatened by individuals, groups or states. On this day in Copenhagen, they include staff at the US Embassy in Denmark [as indicated in the top photo for this article], also after the openly gay Ambassador Rufus Gifford has left our country following the election of Donald Trump. They include staff and leadership at Microsoft, as they openly communicated in the parade, just like numerous other Danish and international companies have communicated through their participation in the parade this year. Some could argue that this is more an expression of what companies need to do in order to maximise profits in the market than a reflection of what they really believe is right. Maybe in some cases, but it could also be argued that things have in fact changed. Microsoft is probably a good example, since the company has also openly disagreed with many Trump policies, including the travel ban.
Standing in the happy and peaceful streets of Copenhagen, capital of a country that scores high on the ‘happiness-index’, together with hundreds of thousands of like-minded people who also wanted to celebrate diversity, I felt extremely proud. I also felt very privileged, because I know that such a celebration cannot take place peacefully everywhere in the world. It takes both political leadership and a sense of togetherness at national level to do this. Denmark is also haunted by strife and disagreement these days, but fortunately not at all at the level of what we see in the US right now. Still, millions of Americans of all colors and beliefs also believe in the need for DIVERSITY in general in the day and age we live in. Without a strong commitment to diversity, humanity cannot deal constructively with the challenges of climate change, globalization, terrorism, immigration, and much more.
So to me, the Pride Parade was a moment for optimism, and a symbol of everything which is contrary to the forces of darkness, distrust, and discord, all the ‘values’ pursued by President Trump and his administration.