“What!,” my father yelled. “Have you completely lost your mind? You’re giving up such a gentlemen’s position at the bank. You could work there till your retirement. You want to join a ship? You’ve gone insane. You always have something!” My father was a laborer. He worked as a car mechanic in a repair shop in Wormerveer. Every morning he walked to his work in his overalls. I left half an hour later on my bike to the ABN. I wore a suit with a tie. It was 1969 and there was plenty of work.
My shirt sticks to my body. Something creaks. What’s that? I’ve got perspiration on my forehead. There’s hardly any light. My eyes have to get used to it. A rabbit rushes across the track. My heartbeat accelerates. I light a cigarette. My only weapon, apart from my cell phone. In the distance there’s light. I feel the keys in my pocket, rather sharp. You never know. There’s nobody here, everything is quiet. The air is balmy, my neck clammy. I look up. There’s no moon. Was that a shooting star? It’s a plane.
Paid sex is a subject that tickles many people’s fancy (Sex! Suspense! Drama!), and this is even more the case when it comes to male prostitutes. In recent years there’s also increasing attention for sexual abuse in general and of minors in particular. As the age of consent in The Netherlands for paid sex (prostitution, porn) is higher – eighteen – than for “normal” sex, which is allowed from sixteen, it can be very interesting for sensationalist journalists and (mental) health workers to focus on paid sex by underage boys, because of the combination of what many consider “unnatural” lusts and abuse.
A few weeks ago a new case of homophobia, with the usual violence and bloodshed, shocked the Belgian and particularly the Brussels’ gay community. Someone called Bart and his friend were bashed one night after already having been verbally abused. When he turned to a pitta bar for help, some customers there thought it better to assault him too instead.
“Today, the Falcon brand is in crisis. [Director John] Rutherford’s departure initiated years of turmoil and change, marked by a seemingly accelerating turnover in personnel that dramatically affected Falcon’s role as the industry leader and as a commercially successful business. [Falcon] is constantly tinkering with different packaging styles and has even gone so far as to re-title earlier films. The company appears to be lurching from director to director, releasing videos in a number of styles.
Hundreds of thousands of people joined the Euro Parade Rome in the final event of EuroPride 2011. The parade went through the centre of Rome to Circus Maximus where Lady Gaga performed for an estimated crowd of 1 million. She sang ‘Born this Way’ and encouraged her audience in this historic Circus Maximus to be revolutionaries of love. The American pop star criticized governments in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, where young people are forced to live a life in isolation and discrimination.
The impressive metropolis Paris is a non-stop international tourist magnet and judging by the enormous amount of gay nightlife establishments it’s obvious Paris has outstripped Amsterdam as a Gay Capital. Bienvenu à Paris, with a flourishing gay scene for the lovers of “La vie en rose...”
Outdoor tables and Parisians are connected like Siamese twins and looking at the bustle, during the week as well as in the weekend, one wonders whether the crisis has hit here at all. When things get a little too busy some gay bars screen off their outside area with red ropes.
A large majority in De Tweede Kamer voted in favor of education on homosexuality and transgenderism at every school in The Netherlands. ‘A strong signal the government can’t possibly ignore,’ says COC chair Vera Bergkamp. ‘We assume the government will listen to parliament’s demands, which are backed by the COC and thousands of signatures through an Internet petition.’
The Public Prosecutor failed to prioritize the charges of a gay couple, when they reported they were being bullied out of the Utrecht neighborhood Leidse Rijn.
The Public Prosecutor missed opportunities to find out whether this included punishable offenses and police and justice have been negligent.
The Olympic Flame returns once again to Amsterdam during Gay pride with the holding of the 7th International Drag Queen Olympics at the Homomonument on Friday 5th August.
The Drag Olympics are the world’s premier sporting event for drag queens, with competitors from around the globe battling it out for Olympic Gold. This year’s events include the 100m Stiletto sprint, the Handbag Toss as well as for the first time ever, an equestrian dressage competition.
From Sunday the 31st of July “sexual and disturbing” art exhibitions will take place at three different locations. ArtPrideAmsterdam is organizing these exhibitions at GO Gallery, Gallery ArtPride and gay and lesbian bookshop Vrolijk.
The opening of ArtPrideAmsterdam will take place on Sunday the 31st of July at GA Gallery, 64 Prinsengracht, and will be hosted by art-hysteric and beauty with brains Dolly Bellefleur (twenty-two years the alter ego of Ruud Douma already) and the brand new chairwoman of ProGay, Irene Hemelaar.