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Amsterdam Pride 2017 Celebrates Solidarity in Diversity

by our Editors in Events & Agenda , 27 juli 2017


This year, the twenty-second edition of Pride Amsterdam will take place. Earlier this year, Artis Zoo proudly announced the fact that for the first time in its history, a couple of griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) is taking care of a chick. The egg of the male couple was found unsupervised and was placed in an incubator.

VondelparkIn the meantime, the males had built a nest, and it was decided to move the egg to that nest, where both birds sat on the egg alternately until it hatched. To celebrate this happy fact, the zoo is now also participating in Amsterdam Pride 2017. Same-sex acitivties have been observed in many birds and mammals, and Artis therefore will be organizing guided tours on Sunday the 31st of July, and Sunday the 6th of August. On this tour, aficionados can learn more about homosexual behavior in the animal kingdom.

Pride WalkThis year, Pride Amsterdam will start on Saturday the 29th of July and will last until Sunday the 6th of August. The festival is opened with the Pride Walk. Participants of the Pride Walk need to report at the Homomonument on July 29 at 11:00. Everyone is welcome to join under the slogan “Marching with Pride.” Accompanied by music trucks, and waving flags and banners, everyone is encouraged to express his or her message. The walk starts at 12:00 in the direction of Vondelpark and will finish around 13:00 at the Open-Air Theatre in the Vondelpark, where Pride Amsterdam will be officially opened. The rest of the day, the park will host a wide range of activities, including a “rainbow market” and information stands from various gay organizations and associations.

Holland Casino, Max Euweplein 62, will organize a Pride Night on the eve of the official start date, on July 28th. It promises to be a very special evening indeed. Guests are warmly welcomed by a drag queen host, after which they can swing to Q Music’s golden oldies. Candy will be distributed by the sexy Candy Boys! Additionally, the slot machines come with a bonus - five city trips to Berlin!

Pride at the Beach

This year, the popular seaside resort Zandvoort is also incorporated into the Amsterdam Pride program. From Monday, July 31st up to and including August 2nd, the rainbow flag will fly on the city hall of Zandvoort, and the beach resort will celebrate diversity with a spectacular program. On Monday, July 31st, NS will deploy a special Pride Express for the many visitors of “Pride at the Beach,” starting at 13:00 from Amsterdam Central Station to Zandvoort. At 15:00, the “Pride at the Beach Parade” will kick-start the festivities. The raising of the rainbow flag at the city hall will signal the start of the opening party with various performers, such as Anita Meyer and Shary-An, among others.

On Tuesday, August 1st, there will be a variety of activities, and on Wednesday, August 2nd, the first edition of “Pride at the Beach” will come to an end with a beach party with the “Heeren van Aemstel” band. The beach party will be closed with a fabulous firework display.

Proud Students

However, chances are that the Dutch weather will not facilitate a day at the beach, and it is of course also possible you don’t feel like leaving the city. Not to worry, there will be plenty of events in the city itself. The student association A.S.V.Gay will organize a symposium on “Taboos and Prejudices” in the gay scene. Different speakers will answer questions such as: Why are women still refused by some gay bars and clubs, and why are people still making jokes about bisexual people?

The theme of this symposium is perhaps inspired by a statement by Simone van Saarloos, who held the annual Mosse lecture last year. Shortly before this event, she told the Amsterdam university paper “Folia” about her experiences as a young bisexual woman in an Amsterdam bar for gays and lesbians. “I was there with a bisexual couple and kissed the woman first. That was fine until I kissed the man. All of a sudden they asked me to leave. In that situation, it apparently doesn’t matter what my sexual orientation is. It is what I do.” The symposium will take place on Tuesday, August 1st at CREA, Nieuwe Achtergracht 170, and starts at 11:00.

However, the student association A.S.V.Gay does not only deal with intellectual issues. On the 2nd of August, things will get much wilder at the “Student Pride Party: Netflix and No Chill” the student union organizes from 23:00-04:00 at Akhnaton, Nieuwezijds Kolk 25.
 Check for more info about ASV Gay's Pride activities at www.asvgay.nl.

Proud Drag Queens

Elsewhere in this issue, we report on Senior Pride, which is an important part of Pride Amsterdam. In the context of Senior Pride, chanteuse Dolly Bellefleur will perform at several nursing homes in Amsterdam. Dolly Bellefleur, photo (c) PiekDolly Bellefleur is the alter-ego of cabaret performer and lyricist Ruud Douma, who has been active on the barricades and on stage for twenty-seven years by now. On Wednesday the 2nd of August, she will perform at De Vreugdehof, De Klencke 111 (14:00-15:30), with her show “Those were the gays,” in which Dolly pays tribute to gay pioneers. On Thursday the 3rd of August, Dolly will perform at De Rietvinck, Vinkenstraat 185. Accompanied on the piano by Kees van Zantwijk, Dolly sings from “The Jukebox of my Youth,” the songs that shaped her life.

Those who are looking for something even more colorful can watch the thirteenth edition of the Drag Olympics on Friday the 4th of August. Sporty drag queens and kings will take each other on in sporting events such as the Stiletto Sprint, the Handbag Toss, Bitch Volleyball, Hula-hoop and Dressage! The registration will take place on the day itself, from 17:00-18:30, and the Olympics start at 19:00. Organizer Jennifer Hopelezz: “The Drag Olympics are again the highlight of Gay Pride, and as usual my entrance with the Olympic Flame will be the spectacular opening. This year we have a celebrity host who will be in drag for the first time, I’m not able to release his name yet, so you’ll just have to be there to witness Drag Olympic Herstory!”

Cosiness on the Zeedijk

Even more flamboyancy is expected in the traditional Canal Parade, which takes place on Saturday the 5th of August. This year, this true highlight of Pride Amsterdam starts an hour earlier, namely at 13:00, and the route will be “reversed” from east to west.

That weekend, however, many other activities will take place in the city. Gay Pride will be celebrated on the Zeedijk with appropriate hysteria. This will start on Thursday the 3rd of August with a “Pride Kick-off” at Café the Queen’s Head, Zeedijk 20. Bo Monde, who is well-known in the Amsterdam scene and abroad, will spin the audience into a frenzy.

On Friday, the spectacle outside of the bar will commence, with live performances on the large podium by Victoria False, Agnes Geneva, Sabine Dissels, and Kimberley Clarck. The presentation is in the chatty and expert hands of Coby van Dam. Coby will be back on Saturday the 5th of August, this time with three DJs for the street party. Jakko B, Barry Paf, and Bo Monde will play the hottest music, making sure the entire Zeedijk will be dancing on the street.

More spectacle is expected at Café ’t Mandje, Zeedijk 63. On Friday the 4th of August, the street party starts at 19:00 with the Teloorkoor, offering the audience the opportunity to sing-along Amsterdam style. From 19:30-20:30 Molly Strychnine will offer live song and drag entertainment, after which people can dance in the street up to midnight.

The street party continues on Saturday the 5th of August from 16:00-17:00, interrupted by thirty minutes of line-dancing by the Amsterdam Amigos. They will reappear with a show from 19:00-19:30. From 19:30-20:00, Pride ambassador Niki Today will perform, and afterwards, it is time for everyone to participate in a S(w)ingalong. From 21:30 to midnight, the street party continues with DJ Diana, The Battle, and various DJs.

Party Time!

But the Zeedijk is not the only place to party. On Saturday the 5th of August, people can celebrate at nine different locations in the city centre, from 16:00 onwards. However, this year the city did not give the go-ahead for one of the most beloved events, the stage on the Amstel. Café Montmartre, Halvemaansteeg 17, will therefore entertain lavishly this year. On Friday the 3rd of August, the doors will open at 17:00, with various live performers. On Saturday, the doors will be open at 12:00, with DJ Richilicious and DJ Robert Stet. The bar will open at 15:00 on Sunday the 6th of August, for a Eurovision theme day. Various former participants of the song festival will perform, including Linda Wagemakers.

On Saturday the 5th of August, the street parties will continue to the stroke of midnight. On the other side of town, near the entire Westergas Fabriek terrain hosts the biggest gay party this weekend, Funhouse XXL, for more then 8,000 people. You can party along all weekend, and combine it with Rapido at Paradiso on Sunday afternoon. To check if there are still tickets and more, check www.clubrapido.com.

Those who are just getting started can continue their celebration in Amsterdam’s nightlife. When most bars close at 4 a.m., the “United Gay Pride After Party” will start at Club Church, Kerkstraat 52. The party is open to everyone, straight or gay, male or female, and closes at nine in the morning.

On Sunday the 6th of August the official Closing Party takes place right at Dam Square. Also Sunday Afternoon it's Rapido Pride at Paradiso.

Dam Square is also the location for a huge open air stage on Friday August 4 and Saturday August 5. On Saturday afternoon, it's also open air stage at Homomonument.

Something completely different is the party Club Church organizes on Sunday the 6th of August (14:00-20:00), “Twinks Orgy Limited.” The party, according to a Church spokesperson, “sprang out of a Gay Romeo group of guys who were organizing private orgies for young men. We’re strict about the age limit, 32 and under, cause there are a lot of older guys who would give their right arm to sneak in, but that would defeat the purpose of the party.

The party is based on the ‘guys go crazy’ porn videos - we close off the darkrooms downstairs so all the action is open and in public on the main floor. There’s obviously still a need, even with all the dating apps, for young guys to meet in person cause these parties are usually really busy and horny.”


 Of course there is much more to choose from the various activities that will take place during Pride Amsterdam (July 29-August 6). The full program can be found on https://pride.amsterdam. Information is also available at Pink Point on the Westermarkt near the Homomonument. Of course we've put all info together for you on our own site too, at pride.gayamsterdam.com. Happy Gay Pride!



 







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In the New Issue of Gay News, 312, August 2017

















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