Bang on rainbow flag background
Einar von Strokirch

Copenhagen 2021

While Copenhagen hosted the world's largest LGBTI+ event, Copenhagen 2021, we took a look at our cultural heritage, where a number of LGBTI+ people have left their mark.

Det Kgl. Bibliotek's huge collections of books, magazines, letters, pictures and private archives contain traces of the lives of LGBTI+ people throughout history. Both people who, like the trans pioneer Christine Jorgensen, lived fully open lives as queer persons, and the many others who had to hide their private lives.

In these pages you can meet a number of LGBTI+ people who navigated between visibility and invisibility in different ways - and you can hear a little about what they have left behind and how we can tell their stories today. What can we know for sure about feelings and identities that were so forbidden that they were often not even revealed in letters to friends and family?

You can also find an overview of the LGBTI+ struggle in Danish history, as well as dive into the new activist movements of the 1970s - where visibility suddenly became a requirement internally in the queer rights movement, and the act of coming out was used as a weapon in the struggle for equality and rights in society.

We also provide a guide to materials on LGBTI+ topics in our collection.

Christine Jorgensen

Christine Jorgensen straightens her hat in front of a dressing table with a mirror

Christine Jorgensen changed her gender in 1952 and in the following years became a role model. With her openness, she changed the world's perception and understanding of transgender people.

Herman Bang

Author Herman Bang posing on bed

Throughout his life, Bang tried balancing his inner emotional life with his artistic work. The two sides of himself were often in conflict, resulting in both great literary works and depression.

Doris Pollas

Doris Pollas photographed by Rie Nissen

Although Doris Pollas was among the founders of the Circle of 1948 (today known as LGBT Denmark), she only really appeared in public 70 years later in 2018.

An open moment

Child and woman in bathtub

One of the movements born out of 1970s activism was the Lesbian Movement; almost in the heart of the movement, a little girl was born. She tells her story in the book "Et åbent øjeblik".

Explore our collections

The roots of racism

Drawing of the harbor at St. Thomas

May 2021 marks a year since the murder of the 46-year-old black American George Floyd. On that occasion, we have taken a look at our collections to examine the roots of racism.