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The Ambassadors for Amsterdam Pride 2018: Mieke Martelhoff

by Paul Hofman in Events & Agenda , 22 juli 2018

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

As every year, Amsterdam Pride is extremely proud of their ambassadors. This year's theme could not have suited them better, as each and every one of them have given their all for the LGBTI community. Mieke Martelhoff.

Mieke Martelhoff by Noah ValentynMieke Martelhoff
“Stay True to Yourself”

Mieke Martelhoff (71) was the face of the world famous lesbian bar Vivelavie for 37 years. It was a legendary bar where something was always going on. She received a royal award for her work in 1999.

Now, being an Amsterdam Pride ambassador is her crowning glory. She beams with pride. “Last year, I quit. It was time for our child to make it on its own.” When she was asked to become Pride ambassador, she became emotional. “This is truly special to me.”

Over twenty years ago, she was at the cradle of the first Gay Pride. I remember it as if it were yesterday. “It was completely different from what it is now, but also so beautiful.”

She is a chatterer full of anecdotes.

“One of the highlights was sailing along with my girlfriends on our boat during the first Canal Parade. We were all dressed as sailors. The boat parade was a resounding success.”

She continues: “That Vivelavie was to become a home for many lesbians was beyond my wildest dreams.” That she is seen as a figurehead amazes her.  “I am no hero. What I did, I consider normal. I never thought about breaking certain taboos - it just happened like that.”

She does not have real hero's, but she does admire the people who used to stand on the barricades for the liberated and free LGBT life as we know it today in the Netherlands. The growing intolerance towards the LGBT community worries her. “No longer being able to walk hand in hand as a lesbian or gay couple is horrible. Freedom absolutely is under pressure.”

She and her wife also experienced being discriminated against at first hand. “It is horrible to say the least.”

Her advice:
“Be true to yourself and act accordingly.”

     Amsterdam Pride 2018, July 28 till August 5
see also



published Apr 2018       


In the New Issue of Gay News, 336, August/ Pride 2019

Amsterdam, August 24, 2019

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