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A new tradition is born! Write it down in your diary - on the second Saturday of September is the annual StreetHeart Festival! This new gender fluid event is the only public queer event in Amsterdam outside of Pride itself.

Nov 2017       
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Each month, Jurandy Lucas (creative producer of Backdoor Amsterdam) and Dave Koster (photographer) report on queer parties and other events in and outside of Amsterdam. This month, the photo exhibition “Kings & Queens,” Disco Total, the Streetheart Festival, and of course Backdoor.

Oct 2017       
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The Pride Walk, starting at Homomonument and going to Vondelpark for the Rainbow Park, marked the start of a very successfull Pride week.

Sep 2017       
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We do like a party! Jurandy Lucas (Creative Producer of Backdoor® Amsterdam) and Dave Koster (photographer) will regularly report on GLBT parties and other events in and outside of Amsterdam. This month, in the context of Amsterdam Pride 2017: Drag Olympics, Canal Parade, Bear-Necessity, and Backdoor®.

Sep 2017       
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Impression of an amazing Weekend in Brussels, last Easter

Jun 2017       
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In the run up to the EuroPride in Amsterdam, some optimists speculated that perhaps up to one million visitors would go to our capital to celebrate this festival of sexual diversity. Those unrealistic expectations did not materialize, but last year’s number of visitors, at already record levels, were matched.

Sep 2016       
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While those other Games were taking place in Rio de Janeiro, the world’s attention was firmly on the Homomonument in Amsterdam on Friday, August 5, for the twelfth European Drag Olympics.

Sep 2016       
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On a Bingo Tuesday, Café the Queen’s Head on Amsterdam’s Zeedijk changed into a beach ball bar; dozens of colorful beach balls and air beds were hanging on the ceiling, summer cocktails ready, and the guys behind the bar looking hot, as always. It was time for the semi-annual “Mega Beach Bingo.”

Aug 2016       
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November 21, 2015 - A nation suffers the consequences of an alarming terror threat. Large events are cancelled last-minute; the otherwise so busy shopping streets are deserted. That morning in the Red&Blue venue, they often must have had mixed feelings.

Jan 2016       
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Halloween in 't Bolke is always a big hit, when going into the Dark Woods.

Dec 2015       
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Getto Amsterdam celebrated it’s nineteenth edition of Halloween with the theme the “Horrible Halloween Party.” Sugar skulls, Phantom Goblins and Spooky Spiders, Halloween had definitely arrived in the Warmoesstraat.

Dec 2015       
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When Manfred Langer died in 1994, the gays in the Low Countries lost an icon. Manfred Langer was the driving force behind the legendary iT disco in Amsterdam. Talks between the owner of the iT and bar managers Rein Huis in ’t Veld and Ludo Smits (of Antwerp’s Hessenhuis, 1993-1998) died a quiet death. Yet Ludo Smith kept dreaming of a majestic gay club, and finally in 1997 a unique opportunity presented itself.

Nov 2015       
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Club Church is expanding its repertoire of theme parties with the launch this year of two new fetish events spanning the scale from the most extreme to the more playful - “Meat Market” and “Amsterdam Jacks.” “Meat Market,” as the name implies, is a no-holds-barred “fuck fest,” while “Amsterdam Jacks,” in contrast, is a pure jack-off party, old school style but with a 2015 twist. According to Church, both parties fill a niche in the fetish scene.

Oct 2015       
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There was a lot of attention for the first edition of “Superball,” which was held at the Tolhuistuin and hosted by Mayday and initiator Jennifer Hopelezz.

Apr 2015       
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The Backdoor Tea Dance is making a comeback in the ABE Club & Lounge in Amsterdam. The legendary Backdoor Tea Dance started in May 2000 in Amsterdam and became a household name in the gay party scene in no time. It was known as a gay / open-minded party early Sunday evening. The visitors were treated to free cigarettes, joints, tea, chocolate and fresh fruit in the lounge. Tea with a Twist!

Jan 2015       
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Miss Windy Mills, better known as one of Amsterdam’s leading drag performers, showed that she’s got more to her than just tits and ass by winning her third Olympic Gold title. She edged out Miss Nixx and Didi Licious who took silver and bronze respectively during the ninth International Drag Olympics held during Pride.

Sep 2013       
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LGBTI ALMS Conference 2012. Between the 1st and the 3rd of August, more than one hundred individuals from all around the world (among others from Europe, South Africa, Canada, the USA and Australia) gathered together to attend the fourth edition of the LGBTI ALMS Conference, organized by IHLIA within the venues of the Public Library Amsterdam.

Oct 2012       
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The 8th International Drag Olympics held on Friday 3rd of August was a resounding success with twenty-four of the world’s top drag queen and king athletes smashing several long-held records as they competed for Olympic Gold.

Oct 2012       
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From the 18th of April the Eagle is open again. The cruise bar has been completely renovated and to celebrate the opening the Eagle is organizing RECON Full Fetish Amsterdam on Saturday the 19th of May.

Except for a new logo nothing has changed on the outside of the Eagle. The facade has a new coat of paint, but you still have to ring the doorbell to get in. If you’re not paying much attention in the crowded Warmoesstraat you’d walk straight past it without noticing.

Jun 2012       
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On Friday the 21st of October the HustlaBall Awards were presented aa the first part of the HustlaBall at Berlin’s KitKat-Club. These are the only European porn awards and were granted three years ago for the first time. Consumers are rather important in this contest because they can vote online for their favorites. The battle is therefore not decided by the industry’s topmen.

Jan 2012       
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In September youngsters filmed the response of random people in several neighborhoods to the photo installations of Pride Photo Award 2011. The clips showed how superficial tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality still is: it’s fine if you think you’re gay ‘as long as I don’t have to see it!’ The winning photos of Pride Photo Award 2011 were displayed outside on several squares in the city and youngsters filmed short interviews with passers by. The photos show the diversity of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and play with images of masculinity and femininity.

Dec 2011       
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For years, the Anco Hotel has been a constant in Amsterdam’s gay hospitality industry. After fourteen years, the current owners have taken over once again and haven given the hotel a thorough make-over. Modern and reliable, that is the Anco Hotel in the year 2011.

If you ask people in the city about the Anco Hotel, you hear the wildest stories. Especially the former hotel bar used to be very popular because of its late opening hours.

Nov 2011       
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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.

Sep 2011       
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The national information and advice hotline Gay & Lesbian Switchboard celebrates its 25th anniversary. The Switchboard is a gay household name in Holland. Both youngsters wanting info on coming out as well as gays of a certain age seeking advice on homosexuality, bisexuality and transgender lifestyle issues find what they’re looking for with the Switchboard.

Jun 2011       
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From the first of January 2011 Coffeeshop Downtown closed its doors.

This was the smallest and last of the total range of gay businesses that brought the Reguliersdwarsstraat fame for decades. Downtown never had anything to do with selling marihuana, it has always been a classic coffeeshop and lunchroom. Like all the other big gay places in the street, Downtown was the property of café/restaurant tycoon Sjoerd Kooistra.

Feb 2011       
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It was an amazing weekend, from the 5th till the 7th November, when the fourteenth International Mr. International Rubber Contest was held in Chicago and the Dutch delegate Roger appeared from nowhere and jumped to the second place! Nine men from Canada, Germany, France, Italy and the United States fought it out for the coveted title. This was the largest number of contestants in the history of Mr. International Rubber.

Feb 2011       
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Pink Point, the gay and lesbian information kiosk at the Homomonument that has been a fixture in Amsterdam for more than a decade, has opened a new franchise in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Pink Point Buenos Aires, based in a busy shopping district in the center of the city, opened its doors earlier this year. The founder is expat Dutchman Erik Hovenga Diaz: “I was in Amsterdam for the Gay Games in 1998 and followed closely the start of Pink Point there.

Feb 2011       
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Cameroonians are attacked by police, politicians, the media, and even their own communities if they are suspected of having sexual relations with a person of the same sex, four human rights organizations said in a joint report.

The government should take urgent action to decriminalize such consensual conduct and to ensure the full human rights of all Cameroonians, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, said Alternatives-Cameroun, l'Association pour la défense des droits des homosexuels, Human Rights Watch, and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.

Jan 2011       
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Rioters threw petrol bombs and stones at armed police, who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. The office of the ruling Democratic Party was briefly set on fire, and at least one shot was fired. Calm was eventually restored but more than 100 people, mostly police, were injured, with another 100 arrested.

Sunday's march was the first Gay Pride parade in Serbia since a 2001 event was broken up in violent clashes provoked by far-right extremists.

Dec 2010       
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31/07-08/08

It has been called the largest European International Gay & Lesbian event. This year, the Circuit Festival saw its third edition, full of culture, dance, tourism and leasure, on different locations in Barcelona and Sitges. There were more than 35 parties and 20 events for more than 55,000 people from all over the world. The Circuit Festival consisted of three parts: The Circuit Festival for gay men, the Girlie Circuit Festival for ladies and the Circuit Bear and Butch, for real men!

Nov 2010       
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On Sunday the fifth of September, over a thousand people assembled on Dam square to protest against increasing anti-gay violence. The protest was organised by action group “Right to Feel Safe," after a wave of violent incidents against gays and lesbians in last couple of months. From Dam square, the participants marched to several spots where gays have been harassed or beaten up. There, posters were nailed up with information on the incidents. The protest march continued walking through the Kalverstraat, along the Spui, to end at the Gay Monument on Westermarkt.

Nov 2010       
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On Sunday the 30th of May a female-to-male transgender in a wheelchair won the 32nd edition of the prestigious International Mister Leather contest: an impression of a historic weekend in Chicago.

It started in 1978 as an erotic pageant contest in a local bar, thirty-two years later the International Mr. Leather Contest is a mega event that attracts thousands of leather men to Chicago, and which generates seven to eight million dollar annually.

Sep 2010       
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Cafés and bars in the centre of Amsterdam can extend their opening hours if an agreement is possible with the people who live in the vicinity. The probable coalition of GroenLinks (Greens), D66 (Liberal Democrats) and PvdA (Social Democrats) in the centre aims to give the businesses as well as the residents in the area more responsibilities when it comes to deciding on opening hours of bars and cafés, says Jeanine van Pinxteren, (GroenLinks) who will most likely become the inner-city mayor. “Instead of deciding for the people, we think that businesses an people living in the immediate vicinity can work out what’s possible.”

Jun 2010       
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Rome is basking in the sun when I arrive at Central Station on Wednesday the 30th of September; I’m sweating profusely when I run into Mr. Leather Norway. We find out we’re staying at the same hotel, the only problem is that neither of us knows where it’s located. He’s brought a map, but our hotel is not on it so I produce my phone with Google Maps, and half an hour walk later we’re at our destination. The rest of the day I spent walking through the city.

Jan 2010       
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Many complain about how little is happening in the Amsterdam gay scene over the last years. Well, the creativity and initiative which are needed to make a change in this situation seem to have been lacking in what was once the Gay Capital of Europe. Fortunately there are a few people doing their utmost to create new possibilities. Like club night producers Abiad & Malenka, who want to re-invent the DOK.

Dec 2009       
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Canal Pride 2009 was a great success with no less than 560.000 spectators. It’s these spectators that make Pride into what it is. Who are these people that flock from all corners of the country, and indeed the world, to watch the parade of boats? Who are all these people lining the canals for kilometers on end? Is it some kind of zoo type event, freak watch? Is the Canal Parade just plain and simple entertainment? Are they aware of the background and origin of Gay Pride? I want answers so I armed myself with paper and pen and started asking around.

Nov 2009       
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The paint was hardly dry when the brand new “cruise club” Church threw open its doors just in time for Gay Pride at the beginning of August. After years of seeing one club close after another (think iT, Roxy, Mazzo) finally Amsterdam could boast a new venue, and what’s more, on the Kerkstraat, the original gay street of Amsterdam. Behind the new club is the GALA foundation, more than fifteen years active in promoting gay Amsterdam and well known for, amongst others, its non-profit parties on the Homomonument.

Oct 2008       
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A bit later than we’re used to.... but here they are, the first plans for Gay Pride 2008. But we’re confused already. A few years ago GBA was the only organizer, now there are several. Pro Gay, Hugo Braakhuis’ organization that took over from GBA, is now chaired by Frank van Dalen. He states in a press release that he’s going to stage the Canal Parade and claims to go for “content and broadening of the scope of the event. The Parade itself will be organized by bureau O=4.

Jul 2008       
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Stereo (B)eat is situated along the 1.7 kilometer long and rather barren road connecting the city centre with the inner Western suburb. Personally I don’t like the Overtoom, because it takes an eternity to drive from A to B and if you’re on a bike it’s a miracle if you survive.

You hardly notice Stereo (B)eat from the outside but when you enter you immediately realize that this is not your standard eating-place. The little worker’s house from 1729 only has a mere 50 m2 and has the atmosphere of an intimate restaurant.

Jan 2008       
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If you ask the average party tiger in our quaint little city where they usually go out, they will often say they go to a club or party in Cologne, Paris, Antwerp or…Brussels. These party poopers claim Amsterdam is very yesterday’s news. It’s nice enough to live and work in but for a good party one needs to cross the border. I received a lot of pitying looks when I recently admitted that I had never been to La Demence. My good friend Donny decided then and there that I had to promise him to join them next time. As if my soul and social status depended on it.

Nov 2007       
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After one night you’ve met a lot of people, who all had their own reasons for going out. Who are they, what’s behind the ‘nightlife attitude’? In this column we try to lift a tip of the veil. Maybe you’ll be the next one to be asked to tell us a little bit about yourself.

We get acquainted with a random visitor of the gay scene in just ‘5 minutes’. See how many questions we can cram into that short a time!

Our first victim is Brent de Lannee de Bretancourt from Oss (40)

Aug 2007       
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Millions of people packed the streets of Sao Paulo for what organizers said was the world's largest gay pride parade, dancing and waving rainbow flags in a carnival-like atmosphere to condemn homophobia, racism and sexism. At least 3 million people filled the canyonlike Paulista Avenue on Sunday, organizers said, surpassing last year's count of 2.5 million. The larger count was confirmed by a police spokesman who is not authorized to be quoted by name under department rules. "This is the biggest parade on the planet," Tourism Minister Marta Suplicy said. "Our city is showing, once again, its respect for diversity."

Aug 2007       
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Next month it’s AIDS Memorial Day, the day we think of all the people who died of AIDS. An annual moment of reflection, a moment of hope. Hope indeed, because we have achieved a lot since we first discovered HIV, the virus which causes AIDS. There’s an extra reason this year to remember all those we have lost. Because it’s been twenty-five years that the disease has been in our country. I would like to share one of my memories with you. The memory of a friend of mine I lost to AIDS.

Jul 2007       
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After several years of decline and closure of well-known premises, Amsterdam seems to get back on its feet. We recently saw the opening of Prik at the Spuistraat and since the 7th of April we’ve gained another place at the infamous Zeedijk: De Engel van Amsterdam (Amsterdam’s Angel). At the day of the opening things looked really good and everything went well (it was a gorgeous day which helped). One of the bar’s main attractions is the terrace.

Jun 2007       
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Prik is a new bar on 109 Spuistraat Amsterdam. After all the stories I’d heard about the “living room atmosphere” and the cute boys on either side of the bar, I thought it was time to check it out. So your curious reporter set out for a visit, accompanied by the necessary prejudices of course. As I entered I was immediately enthusiastically greeted by the barkeeper, which made me feel welcome instantly. The interior is warm and cozy, indeed like a large living room.

Feb 2007       
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To The Point - True stories from Pink Point, the gay and lesbian info kiosk at the Homomonument. See www.pinkpoint.org

December’s not the busiest month of the year for Pink Point. Many tourists prefer to chase the sun instead of visiting our chilly little country and that’s noticeable in the kiosk. The days are getting shorter and the wind is blowing around us so violently it’s sometimes as if we’re about to be launched into the sky. Fortunately we make it cozy by hanging out our lights early and inside we always make time for a chat and the exchange of the latest gossip.

Feb 2007       
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Drag bar Lellebel opened its doors for the first time in the winter of 1997 and has grown out to one of Amsterdam’s most special bars. The highlight of 2000 was winning the Canal Parade award. The Lellebel (a genial Dutch word for “slut”) offers live shows, theme evenings and performances seven days a week all through the year. Drag and transsexuality is Lellebel’s face, for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and straights. Lellebel in short, is for everybody!

Dec 2006       
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To my astonishment somebody told me that restaurant Getto in the Warmoesstraat has been there for ten years already. Oh my God, ten years, time sure flies! This is of course a fact to celebrate. And there’s a lot to celebrate indeed. The boys and girls from the Getto succeed in offering more than just a meal and a drink. Over and over they find ways to entertain and pamper their customers: great music, performances and, of course, good food for a good price.

Jul 2006       
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The truth is, I was horny that weekend. I undressed every good-looking passerby on the street with my well-equipped mind’s eye. As the song goes, I was looking for fast love and I needed it fast. On Saturday morning I stopped by at Nick’s for a cup of coffee. While sipping my frothy cappuccino, I was gazing through the window, still keeping an eye on the eligible traffic. “There are many American tourists in town,” said Nick. “Well...” I scanned the street once more, “let’s go and GET some.”

Jun 2006       
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We planned a glamorous one-night trip to London. John, Jo and myself. The occasion (as if we needed one!) was the official premiere of Miss Nickie Nicole’s single “Magic and Miracles” at Salvation London. The plan came into being as soon as BasiqAir’s Monday-night special offer crashed into my inbox. We were going to fly from Rotterdam at 20.00, go straight to Salvation and all possible parties and after-hours following it, then catch the plane back to Amsterdam at 14.00 the next day. No hotel, no luggage, no nonsense! To further glamorize the trip, we’d ordered a limo to bring us from the airport to the club (the actual reason being that the price of the limo equaled the price of our train tickets from Stanstead to the City).

May 2006       
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It’s getting easier to get around by bike in New York. Amsterdammer Gert Hekma wanted to explore Manhattan by bike and so he did. In this episode he continues his exploration of the Big Apple, and he actually doesn’t limit himself to Manhattan, but also includes other boroughs in his wanderings.

It’s a nice trip to not limit yourself to just the western side of Manhattan but to go full circle around the island. The advantage of the eastern side is that it’s deserted: no joggers or speed cyclists.

Nov 2005       
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With an extra supervisor, pruning, stinging nettles and the construction of a mountain bike track “Het Twiske” tries to put an end to the outdoor sex taking place there. Visitors are more and more often confronted with mostly men having it off in the bushes, says a spokesperson of the recreational area. Police and justice in Rotterdam are looking for victims of robbery and extortion in and around the Zuiderpark. Changing groups of around ten to twenty youngsters of around 11 to 18 years of age have been terrorizing mainly gay men for the past half year.

Nov 2005       
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Who doesn’t know the Cockring club in Amsterdam? Positioned in the famous Warmoesstraat, in the center of the hot neighborhood and with the Amsterdam leather scene as its neighbors. But the Cockring has always had its own style in this old neighborhood, where sex and fun have ruled for hundreds of years already. The visitors of the Cockring consist of a mix of trendy clubbers and leather men.

Nov 2005       
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New York. It’s a city of extremes, with liberal and ultra-orthodox Jews, yuppies and sweet old ladies, cyclists and chauffeurs, boring gays, cool gays and a local government that doesn’t want to have anything to do with sex or gay sex. The city is fairly liberal in an ocean of conservatism. In many aspects it really resembles Amsterdam although there are some significant differences as well. New York’s size is just so much bigger, when it comes to people, gays, art, shops or restaurants. Sodom at the Amstel could never compete with its offspring, the Big Apple at the Hudson. But Amsterdam has certain things that New York definitely has not. Like a decent Red Light District, or the comfort of being able to have sex in a bar or in a park, or a local and national government that are much more tolerant towards sex. All those officials often get cold feet when they think of the liberal image of Amsterdam that a lot of Americans and New Yorkers long for.

Oct 2005       
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With hundreds of guide books to destinations all across the world there’s not much ground that renowned travel series Lonely Planet hasn’t covered. Yet, in their latest guide to Amsterdam they didn’t bother outlining the diversity of our local gay scene, they simply advised their gay and lesbian readers of a short cut: “Pick up the excellent Bent Guide”. But using the combined knowledge of the volunteers at Pink Point - the Gay & Lesbian information kiosk at the Homomonument - and written by Darren Reynoldson, The Bent Guide to Gay & Lesbian Amsterdam isn’t like other gay guides. Rather than rattling off a bunch of indecipherable acronyms beside a droll list of venues, it has detailed descriptive stories on “everything that’s not straight in Amsterdam.”

Oct 2005       
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New York has got more than one gay parade per year nowadays. It starts in the first weekends of June with the parades in the suburbs Staten Island, Queens and Brooklyn. Then there was the first transgender parade on Friday this year, Saturday saw the “Dyke Parade” and then there’s the big New York Gay Parade on Sunday. The first three are rather smallish affairs of a couple of hundred people each. But their future looks bright as more and more gays and lesbians flee the Village and Chelsea to cheaper areas such as Astoria, Williamsburg and Brooklyn.

Sep 2005       
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Many visits to our global village start or finish at Central Station. P.J.H. Cuijpers, together with A.L. van Gendt, designed this neo-gothic and neo-renaissance building and its foundation consists of 8687 wooden poles. Though the city council at the time had preferred a central station at the Leidseplein, the terminal at the IJ opened its doors with enormous public attention on the 15th of October 1889.

The Grand Café Restaurant 1e Klas (First Class) is located next to the Royal waiting lounge on platform 2B. Who hasn’t had a meeting here? Going out for dinner - I’ve said it in my columns before - also means to remember: with whom, where, when and what. In these surroundings I’m thinking mainly of who and when.

Aug 2005       
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Zandvoort has always been Amsterdam’s large swimming pool. Pale city boys go there every now and then to get some healthy breaths of sea-air. In the old days there was a special tram, nowadays we just take the train or if there’s no other way, the car. But the reputation of Zandvoort is waning lately. You really can’t take the car anymore because that’s apparently what everyone else is already doing. And then the direct train connection disappeared. Now you had to change trains in Haarlem, so everyone had to lug their beach gear from one platform to another. Fortunately N.S. (Dutch Railways) is going to reinstall the direct connection this summer.

Aug 2005       
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After quite a lot of rumours, queer nonsense and the always necessary lawsuits here in Amsterdam, finally the 10th edition of AMsterdam Gay Pride will take place from August 4 till August 7.

Our site houses tons of information on this, since we're online for over 10 years; here you'll find the quicklinks:

Jul 2005       
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There’s one square in Amsterdam that could be seen as the ultimate cultural heart of Holland with all its cinemas and various theatres - the Leidseplein. And that for as long as one can remember. Like several squares in Amsterdam it originally was a so-called carriage square - the parking spots of the seventeenth century. These were always situated right behind a city gate, so that farmers and other traders could park their carriages. This is where they unloaded their merchandise and looked for care for their horses and a snack for themselves. In 1862 the Leidse gate was demolished and the square started the metamorphosis to its current character.

Jul 2005       
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