Project Runway's Jack Mackenroth's Outgames Diary
By Noah Michelson
All in all the attitude of all the athletes was very excited and upbeat. It’s an extremely moving experience to be surrounded by gay athletes from all over the world and sharing a common experience. The opening was unfortunately marred buy the fact that 3 gay men were assaulted that evening. I asked my host Henrick about that and he said that while of course it was very unfortunate, he didn’t think that type of thing happens very often and it garnered a lot of press because the Outgames were in town. I have to say I don’t know the facts of the beatings but I know that they occur on a daily basis in the United States and they are rarely even mentioned in the press. I always felt very safe.
I had one day of tourism before the swimming competition so Henrick was nice enough to take me to a castle to see the crown jewels. I was quite envious of the crowns on display. If it weren’t for the alarmed security doors I might be wearing one right now. (The queen’s crown of course.)
I have to note here that the pool is a new venue and it was really amazing. However there was one thing that all the Americans found strange. They had VERY strict rules about showering before entering the pool area. Now I am all for proper hygiene but they even had a diagram on the wall of a person with orange circles around all the areas that needed special scrubbing. I wanted to take a photo of the diagram but I’m pretty sure they were not allowing cameras in the locker room. It was kind of amusing. They even had an official who stood in the shower area and monitored everyone to make sure they were showering in the nude and washing appropriately. I want that job.
After swimming was over I was free to let down my hair and have some fun. Fortunately for me it was also Copenhagen Gay Pride day. My friend Mark Burrows and I walked with Sydney’s Wet Ones swim team in the Outgames section of the parade. Everyone was in a great mood. There were tons of floats and fun costumes. (more pics) I was most impressed by the local people that came out to watch the parade. For the most part in the US it’s only the LGBT community that comes out to support the parade marchers. It seemed to me that the whole city was involved. The parade ended in the city center square and culminated in a huge outdoor celebration with live music and dancing. It was the perfect end to a perfect vacation in a near perfect city. Kudos to Copenhagen for a job well done. I will be back.
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