Monday, August 6, 2007

Amsterdam Pride (and Prejudice...)

Amsterdam Gay Pride, 1-4 August 2007

I've never really understood Gay Pride in Amsterdam. I mean, there are things to like (it's an nice party in the end, lots of visibility and a chance to take that queer looking outfit out of the closet) and things not to like (it's a nice party mostly for gay men, and mostly gay men who are visible and who are wearing the outfits), but there is something more to it I sometimes feel. Every time there is this huge fight... if it's not between the lesbians and gay men, it's between the city and the organizers, and if need the organizers will just organize the fight among themselves and the different partners to ensure the fight to happen. This year I didn't hear much fighting between the partners (Gay Business Amsterdam and the rest) but mostly between the city and the organizers. The issue at hand: the fact that during pride weekend there was also a football tournament and the expectation of lots of young handsome men that might not be so nice to all the pink stuff happening (aka homophobic hooligans).

Sometimes I honestly don't know what to be proud about during Amsterdam Pride. Just a look at the boots in the Canal Parade: ING bank, Job agencies, Television stations that never screen anything related to LGBT, Insurance companies,... Are we being proud of consumerism? No offense, we all consume, but this cashing into LGBT community just shows that Gay Pride here is more about companies promoting themselves in boots far out-decorating the gay and lesbian organizations and bars thanks to their budget than it is about a movement striving to make a change. Apart from that I feel there should be more to a "Pride Parade" than just gay men half naked on boats with only half a message attached to the nudity...