This Conservative Gay Danish Politician Shows Us Exactly How to Come Out

The news: For many American politicians, especially conservative ones, publicly coming out of the closet might still seem like a daunting task. But for Søren Pape Poulsen, the new leader of the Conservative party in Denmark, the entire process has been rather simple and matter-of-fact.

"It's not a secret that I'm homosexual, but it truly amazes me that it could be so interesting in 2014, and I am puzzled over why people think they have the right to know," the 42-year-old Poulsen told Danmarks Radio on Tuesday, as translated by the Danish site The Local.

"Apparently here in 2014 it is still seen as something a bit exotic, and I believe that every educated person is well aware that one's sexuality is not something you choose," he said. "I think it is unfortunate that I have to talk about it, because I find it irrelevant for the Conservative party."

Poulsen's nonchalance might be more hopeful than realistic, but it's a good start. The fact remains that yes, in the year 2014, people still care about the sexual orientation of their politicians, and that there might be repercussions for publicly gay politicians in less open-minded regions.

And while Poulsen himself may see his sexuality as a non-issue, others in his own party still might not: As the Local report points out, Conservative Danish parliamentary members in recent years have voted against same-sex marriage in church ceremonies and gay couples' right to adopt a child.

Still, that is the power of wishful thinking: If more people treat sexuality as a natural, non-controversial part of life, that attitude might become the paradigm later on. We might not yet live in a world where people, public or private, aren't limited or defined by their sexuality. But if we wish it hard enough, it might come true one day.

h/t The Local

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Eileen Shim

Eileen is a writer living in New York. She studied comparative literature and international studies at Yale University, and enjoys writing about the intersection of culture and politics.

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