Copenhagen | Denmark | Gay Rights

LGBT Rights Pioneer Axel Axgil Dies

The gay rights pioneer who became known as "Axel Axgil" came out of the closet in Denmark, 1948. The next day he lost his job. This weekend, he died of "complications from a fall." He was 96 years old. According to The Washington Post:

Axgil, born Axel Lundahl-Madsen, was among the founding members of the organization — one of the oldest gay rights groups in Europe — in 1948.

On Oct. 1, 1989, he and his partner Eigil were among 11 couples to exchange vows as Denmark became the first country to allow gays to enter civil unions, with nearly the same rights as heterosexual couples. Eigil Axgil died in 1995.

In the 1950s, both were sentenced on pornography charges to short prison terms for running a gay modeling agency that issued pictures of naked men. The men melded their first names into a new surname, Axgil, and used it in a public show of defiance.

The journalist Rex Wockner was in Copenhagen in '89, when Axel and Eigil exchanged vows. He took the picture at top. (Axel's the fellow on the left.) See some of Wockner's other pictures from the occasion AFTER THE JUMP ...





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  1. I tip my hat to this vanguard.

    His stories, and others like him, need to be kept alive and indeed need to be shared with all the grown-ass adults, ADULTS, who continue to justify being Closeted in 2011.

    People have been Coming Out in times far more unforgiving than today. There are no more reasons for adults in North America to be Closeted - only excuses.

    Help Out, Come Out.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Oct 30, 2011 1:45:20 PM

  2. This article mentions Axgil as being a founding member of an organization. No organizations name was mentioned. What is he the founder of?

    Posted by: Chris Allen | Oct 30, 2011 5:18:03 PM

  3. R.E.S.P.E.C.T.


    Posted by: George F | Oct 30, 2011 6:56:18 PM

  4. The Danish gay rights group is "LGBT Danmark".
    A little closer editorial review could correct this omission folks.

    Posted by: DearComrade | Oct 30, 2011 11:51:52 PM

  5. Long time no see such a good paper,It gives me inspiration and inspiration.To the author to say thank you,
    Hope you to create more good work.

    Posted by: Cheap NHL Jerseys | Oct 31, 2011 3:40:31 AM

  6. The LGBT community here in Denmark have lost perhaps the greatest gay rights pioneer we ever had. But he had a long and rewarding life indeed. I just wish he would have lived just a little longer, so he could have seen the first couple to actually marry, when it becomes totally equal under the law, sometime after new year. May he rest in Peace.

    You did good, Axel!

    Posted by: DeeperStill | Oct 31, 2011 7:07:44 PM

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