Gay Amsterdam

Today was the annual gay pride parade in Amsterdam, on boats on the Prinsengracht. It’s a big party, not only on the boats, but the whole of the street is crammed full of people cheering, dancing and shouting their support for those on the boats. It’s a great atmosphere.
Most boats were party boats, but one or two pointed out continuing homophobic and homo hatred. Yes, even in Amsterdam. There have been a number of attacks directed specifically at gays. One friend’s colleague was killed recently in a homo hate attack. So the placards on this boat highlight the attacks and ask “little incident?” while the detail is on the recent violence.
One boat included large flags from Eastern European nations, and Turkey and called for support for gays in these countries. As they join the EU these nations do take on certain legal frameworks around human rights that in theory give gays and lesbians more protection.But it’s still a long journey, and their participation in the parade shows courage.
The “heteroboot”, the hetero’s boat confused me. The people on it wore T shirts with “Heteros are also proud”. I’m not sure whether they mean they’re proud to be straight, or they’re proud to support the gay parade. The elderly couple (a man and a woman, Dutch) in front of me were really annoyed that straights had invaded an event. “It’s not theirs”. I agree, one of the things I love about the parade is the diversity of people on the canal side supporting the parade. It doesn’t make sense to jump into the parade.
My favourite boat, was the “Handel=Homo” boat, it was a carefully constructed boat with a full orchestra seated in it playing Handel’s water music. After 50 boats of house music it was a welcome change and it got a huge cheer from the shore-side crowd.

2 thoughts on “Gay Amsterdam

  1. Pingback: Countdown to Gay Parade « I am not a tourist

  2. Pingback: Banned? « I am not a tourist

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