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Sunday, August 5, 2007

amsterdam pride

Lots of attention for gays and especially violence against gays in Amsterdam the last few days. A good sign for tolerance, I must say. Society at large is giving gay rights a place in the canon of important values to anchor in this winter-period in my book, of defining our common morals. Went to Amsterdam Pride and got the invitation to join Bart on his new boat in the Prinsengracht, from where we watched the channel parade drift by. Glass in one hand, cheering now and then (for the Aids fund, my swimming club and the many boats referring to anti-gay violence here and the need for tolerance in Eastern Europe and Turkey), laughing a lot and talking in between. Good fun. Must say I miss the spontanity of the event I remembered from the nineties, the sheer exuberance of those days. This year, the name change from Gay Pride to Amsterdam Pride showed itself in the many boats without any (gay) theme, except the showing off of exhibitionists from any type of sexual predisposition, proudly showing off their big boat and shaking their beer bellies to the rhythm or just standing there, drinking and looking at us. Straight pride indeed.

One woman-exhibitionist with what seemed like a personality disorder caught our eye: ex-minister Verdonk sat, fanatically waving, in a boat, all dressed in innocent white. Luckily one of the kids on our boat had a water hose and we managed to get her just a little wet. No, that was not childish, it was an act of political sentiment, her trying to benefit from the air of tolerance while she must have been one of the most intolerant ministers we ever had.
After that fun, we manoeuvred through the channels for a few hours. Great day.

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