And having spent time in Denmark, I can attest to the high quality of their butter and cheese!

Just kidding, but not really. The Danish people in general seem to share a love of good food and drink, much of which they produce in-country, that adds to an enjoyment of life less encumbered by competition-inspired guilt.

Less weight watching, less pathological calorie counting. Less body shaming.

Of course, the French have a similar relationship with food and they’re still troubled by patriarchal gender customs, so we probably should not over generalize.

But even when I was in my early 20s, visiting Denmark and chilling with Danish people moved me. I could see something was clearly different about them compared to most Americans. Even if I didn’t understand what it was.

An almost complete absence of homophobia was startling in the 1980s, so I keyed on that, wondering how and why it could be.

I mean, Germans were at that time cooler than Americans (I lived in West Berlin), but the Danes blew the Germans out of the water in terms of LGBT tolerance and acceptence.

And their casual, open sexuality actually shocked callow me. Spring break for American students can be, and especially was then, a debauche fueled by too much alcohol and often spoiled by disrespectful, sexist behavior by many of the guys.

When I first partied with Danes, I was blown away by how sweet and kind the young people my age were — guys and girls alike.

Totally outside of my experience. I’m sure Danish jerks exist. I know no society can be perfect, but Danish society is so different from American society that we could surely try to see what they’re doing right.

And the wonderful butter and cheese are nice perks!

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.

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