Trans man makes history in Denmark.
History was made on a bright Saturday night at G*A*Y Copenhagen Nightclub in the heart of Copenhagen’s pulsing gay night life when the Danish LGBT+ community celebrated freedom and inclusion by choosing the 44 yeah-old Niels Jansen as the new Mr Gay Denmark 2018.
“There are lots of ways to be a man and there are lots of ways to be a gay man. And we are all valid and worthy of respect and love,” said Niels Jansen, after winning the title, the first trans man in Denmark to do so. “This title means a lot to me. That I, a trans man, was chosen to represent my country in this contest that celebrates men, is a great honor. I will do my best to make everyone proud.”
“I was told by one of the judges that even though I see myself as vulnerable, I also have incredible strength. I was very moved by that. I felt seen and heard and validated, and that is a wonderful feeling.”
When the winner was announced the audience gave Niels a standing ovations for minutes while he was trying to understand what just happened.
“This process has been long and draining for me,” he confessed. “I have mental health issues, I have tendencies towards anxiety and depression, and I knew that this contest would tax my reserves. I have chosen to make myself vulnerable and have received nothing but support from my fellow contestants and from the organizers. I was told by one of the judges that even though I see myself as vulnerable, I also have incredible strength. I was very moved by that. I felt seen and heard and validated, and that is a wonderful feeling.”
He especially wanted to thank first runner-up Bjorn Dotzauer, who helped him a lot. “He had a very strong case and I honestly thought he would win.”
Niels will be taking that message with him to Mr Gay Europe in Poland in August. A country far behind decent rights and treatments of LGBT+ persons.
It should be mentioned that Niels also became Mr Congeniality, scored the highest score in a learning process about LGBT+ history and won the public vote of the readers of Denmark’s LGBT+ magazine Out & About.
After he was crowned MR Gay Denmark the chair of the national association for lesbians, gay men, bisexual people and trans people, LGBT Denmark, Peder Holk Svendsen said: “We would like to congratulate Niels on the well-deserved title as Mr Gay Denmark 2018. As an organization we work for the full range of rights for the LGBT community and I’m both happy and proud that the title goes to Niels this year – it means something for the work and struggle we as community does every day.” Adding that he thought this only proved that it actually matters when we believe we can change things and embrace each other with respect and love.
Main photo: Mr Gay Denmark 2018 Niels Jansen seconds after he is declared the winner. Photo/ Pilu Ottosen, Out & About.