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Remembrance Day at the International Gay Monument The Hague

by our Editors in Events & Agenda , 01 mei 2017

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

In 1993 the International Gay Monument The Hague was unveiled. The initiative for this monument to commemorate all gay men and lesbians in the world who are persecuted and oppressed and who died because of their sexual preference, was taken in 1985. More than a year later, on October 20th, 1986, a proposal for this monument was discussed and adopted by the The Hague city council.

A design competition would result in forty-seven entries, resulting in the unanimous selection of Theo ten Have, an artist from The Hague. His creation is a steel sculpture on a granite pedestal of over seven meters in height. The shape and color of the monument symbolize a confident gay life; blue is the basis of awareness, green is the color of life, the knots symbolize conflict, and the upwardly extending pink stands for liberation. A line by the poetess Ida Gerhardt “Waar vriendschap open als het zonlicht is, werd ons een ongepeild geluk beschoren,” (Where friendship is open as the sunlight, we were granted unfathomed happiness) was chosen as the motto. It is engraved at the foot of the monument in granite.

A few years after the unveiling, the city council ruled that the function and purpose of the monument were not recognizable enough. For this reason, councillor Marjolein de Jong unveiled a plaque in 2011 with in Dutch, Spanish, English and Russian the text: “Sign against oppression and persecution of lesbians and gays anywhere in the world.” Around the same time it was debated whether the chosen location was optimal still. It was not. The monument was “re-unveiled” on the 26th of April, 2015. At the new location, the International Gay Monument The Hague is beautifully situated in the green belt of the Koningskade, opposite the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.

Ever since the monument was unveiled for the second time, a ceremony is held there on May 4th on the occasion of National Remembrance Day in general and the fight for equal rights and empowerment of the global GLBT group in particular. The commemorative events are organized by the Stichting International Gay Monument The Hague in cooperation with COC Haaglanden.

The theme for the ceremony this year is “trust.” Vera Bergkamp, former chairwoman of COC Netherlands and currently a member of the Lower House (D66), will throw more light on the theme as a speaker. A representative of the city council of The Hague and the president of COC Haaglanden, Arnout van Kooij, will also speak.

On behalf of the city council, a wreath will be laid, followed by representatives of other local and regional organizations, such as the municipality The Hague, COC Haaglanden, the The Hague police and fire brigade, Stichting Rainbow, and gay hospitality The Hague.

The ceremony starts May 4th at 19:30. Everyone is more than welcome to attend the memorial, with the request to be present ten minutes before the start of the ceremony.

After the ceremony there is opportunity to have a talk in the COC café, Scheveningseveer 7, 2518 HB The Hague (opposite the Hilton Hotel), where coffee and tea are served by COC Haaglanden.



published Apr 2015       

published May 2015       

published May 2016        Length: 4 minutes

published Dec 2015       


In the New Issue of Gay News, 332, April 2019

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