Mr.B “All of a sudden people realized that this large gay community in the Warmoesstraat was also having sex”
This year Mr.B is celebrating its fifteenth year in business. A good occasion to ask owner Willem Bos what his reasons were to start his shop - next to another famous business like RoB - and he tells us about his successes and disappointments over the years in Amsterdam.
Fifteen years ago the Amsterdam gay scene was in shock. Aids had hit the city hard and many people saw each other more regularly at funerals than in a bar. The leather scene especially was affected badly. Why did you decide to start a business in such difficult times?
Dear Northern Neighbors,
The Flemish and European elections are on their way again. On the 7th of June we’ll go to the ballot. Our country seems to be in some sort of permanent constitutional crisis and we haven’t cooled down yet from our last parliamentary election of 2007. To the contrary, I have the impression our MPs as well as members of government are dragging themselves from election to election, from campaign to campaign, with only one goal in mind: a seat in either the Flemish or European parliament.
The Oscar Wilde Bookshop in New York’s Greenwich Village, the oldest gay bookstore in the United States and probably in the world, closed on March 29. Its current owner, Kim Brinster (51), announced this early February in an e-mail message to customers. She wrote:
“It is with a sorrowful heart that after 41 years in business the Oscar Wilde Bookshop will close its doors for the final time on March 29, 2009. We want to thank all of our customers for their love and loyalty to the store over the years.
While we’re constantly being reminded of how bad the economic situation is, we figured comic relief through funny movies would be very welcome. Here are a few tips!
Chuecatown - Big Bear Comedy
“Chuecatown” is a great comedy / thriller that takes place in the gay quarter of Madrid called “Chueca.” Victor (Pablo Puyol, “20 centimeters”) is a real-estate agent who wants to turn the neighborhood into a funky, happening area and he thinks the elderly do not fit that strategy. He urges old people to agree to sell their places to him, even threatens them with death.
The continuing crisis shows that even things that looked steady and secure, can all of a sudden just topple over. Consumers are insecure and hesitate about spending money on luxurious expensive items. Designer labels will face difficult times because orders will most definitely be smaller than before. Only the best will probably survive...
When collecting personal information on passengers flying to and from the European Union sexual orientation will not be included.
But in some cases this could be derived from the data that will be collected, however. Authorities should treat this with restraint. This is what Minister of Justice Hirsch Ballin said during a meeting with parliament. Various parties wanted to know whether registering someone’s sexual orientation was the idea. The minister has denied this is the case.
The hair on the head of HIV patients can show how much medication has been used and how effective this was. Researchers from the university of California published this in the Aids magazine last month. The new detection technique makes it much easier to determine the right dose of medication
The hiv virus causes aids and there is nothing yet that can cure it but there is medication that slows the reproduction and spread of the virus down. Treatment usually consists of a combination of different drugs so that people sometimes have to take several pills per day.
The first lesbian encyclopedia was presented on the 6th of March - just before International Women’s Day. The so-called Lesbo-Encyclopedie is the first in its kind, mapping lesbian life in Holland. Did you know that the word pot (dyke in Dutch) comes from lollepot, which was a little stove with glowing embers women put under their skirts to warm their feet and legs in the 16th, 17th and 18th century? Did you know that the only female collaborator, who was executed after the second world war, was a dyke?
Homosexual asylum seekers will no longer be required to have notified the police in their country of origin of the threats they were under before they fled to The Netherlands. COC Holland urged the vice-Minister of Immigration to adapt this element of the Dutch immigration procedure.
On Queen’s Day 30th April and on 4th and 5th May, the Homomonument will again be the center of gay Amsterdam with a series of outdoor events and parties at the Westermarkt, the Roze Wester Festival. But this year for the first time since the re-introduction of Queen’s Day Eve, there will be no Drag Queen Olympics.
Paris gallery Au Bonheur du Jour exhibits photos by the American artist George Quaintance (1902-1957) until the 2nd of May. Quaintance, born on the June 2, 1902 in the countryside of Page County, Virginia, is nowadays mainly known for his almost sixty homoerotic paintings, but he also worked as a photographer. To be honest, he had more careers than a cat has lives.