This Pride was the toughest delivery ever. To save Pride Amsterdam from ruin and to safeguard it for the future, we had to solve more problems with a small team than the municipality could handle. But we succeeded and also organized the most substantive Pride ever. I therefore dedicate this column to my dream team. I love you guys!
The title of this column describes the high workload that we are experiencing at the office these weeks due to the introduction and sale of the Pride vignettes, the various production deadlines, as well as the collection and delivery of a large number of documents that are required by the City for all required exemptions. But I do not want to discuss that here.
It is not clear to everyone that through Pride Amsterdam, we not only celebrate our diversity, but also act in a festive manner against inequality and discrimination. This year, our focus is on the P of Protest.
With these painful words, Pride Ambassador Dolly Bellefleur -in her letter to Dutch newspaper “De Telegraaf” - describes how she, and others with her, had experienced the 2018 Canal Parade as a participant.
Never before had it been that warm and dry, this twenty-third edition of Pride Amsterdam. With temperatures above 25ºC and an average of 27.9ºC, we truly can speak of a Tropical Pride. The Friday before, the temperature had risen to 37ºC, but on Saturday, fortunately that was not the case. At night, there had been some rain, which made the temperature drop to a pleasant 25ºC.
Last year’s Pride Amsterdam, we stayed true to ourselves looking at what Pride is all about - our Pride and sharing our Pride. It was my-your-her-his and our Pride. Now, we have emphasised this sense of community by deleting the word gay from Gay Pride. By doing so, we have become more inclusive, and radiate that Pride is for the entire LGBTI community.
Just thirty minutes sailing from the former Dutch Antilles Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao, you will find a president who not only lets his people starve, but also die from infectious diseases that are completely treatable, such as HIV.
Our Pride, which due to its special character is often forgotten to be named in the list of the largest and most important festivals in the Netherlands, has now received such national recognition. At the end of March, I received word that we were nominated for best public event in the Netherlands.
Most of us will not have offspring. However, it is our duty to ensure that we can pass on the rainbow in all its bright colors to future generations. With this in mind, I have been taking part in the festival consultation with the municipality of Amsterdam regarding a new events policy since 2014.
As Pride Amsterdam wants to be an open and attractive organization people are keen to join, I looked forward to the new and young faces in the hall during the kick-off of the twenty-third Canal Parade. At the same time I was gloomier than ever on stage.
On Saturday morning, the 29th of July, while setting up in the rain, I was caught by a deeply sad feeling. It had been a difficult year full of obstacles and challenges, and that morning, everything seemed to fall through. I was soaked, but thankfully at one point the clouds dispersed, and the sun reappeared.
Pride Amsterdam is the annual GLBTI festival to celebrate to be who you want to be, and to love who you want to love. Up to a year ago, this was self-evident for most straight journalists to such a degree, that to my chagrin, I was always asked whether a Pride in the Netherlands was still necessary.
This month, I can only share my worries about the future, as the financial feasibility of the Amsterdam Pride in its present form is under pressure. If Amsterdam wants to celebrate a Pride in 2018, it will be necessary to take a look at how the city can embrace the festival in a different way.
After the huge success of the EuroPride and putting free-thinking Amsterdam and the Netherlands on the map, this year we will look inward to see what we really are all about. Your Pride and sharing that Pride. This is your Pride, her Pride, his Pride, our Pride. This is My Pride!
Last month, I witnessed an historic event. For the first time in history, a crowned head of state visited the GLBT community.
COC Netherlands, which celebrates its seventieth anniversary this year, was bestowed the honor of a royal visit by His Majesty King Willem Alexander on November 22.
“Amsterdam Gay Pride is not just another event. It is a symbol of the open and tolerant city we want to be. We celebrate the freedom to be who you want to be. For the past twenty years, the boat parade has become inseparable from Amsterdam and is here to stay in the city center.”
After three years of preparations, the countdown has finally begun. What only existed on paper, now comes to life in a beautiful and tangible whole. Not only have we been working on this for years, we have functioned as the hub and the oil that kept the motor running. Hundreds of organizations and thousands of people have been working for a long time, and it is wonderful to see that all these initiatives are now unfolding themselves.
In 2001, the Netherlands had a first when civil marriage was opened up to people of the same sex. On the first of April, the first couples were married in Amsterdam. At EuroPride, this anniversary will be celebrated, and we call on other countries to follow our lead.
The Amsterdam Gay Pride is not only unique because of the canal parade, but also because of its street parties. Where in the world is the entire city center celebrating all weekend and is the GLBT community showing the way?
Dear AGP Friends, A lot has happened since my last column. The draft licence application has been submitted, the first meetings with the fire brigade, police and residents of the Prinsengracht have taken place, and during our kick-off event on Valentine’s Day, the participants of the Canal Parade have been made public.
Dear AGP Friends, The editors asked me to write a column in the run up to EuroPride. Although it is a hectic time with many deadlines coming together, I enthusiastically agreed to it. As the president of the Amsterdam Gay Pride (AGP) foundation, I want to give you a behind the scenes of the most beautiful event in the world.