As Amsterdam prepares itself for one of the biggest celebrations of the year, Gay Pride, an email of a friend of mine could not have come on a better moment. He sent me a link to Adventure in Manhood which offers extreme sports with other guys for men who wish to be cured from SSA, same-sex attraction. Pfff..... Googling the Arizona-based organisation brings out quickly the conservative Christian undertone. And apparently the gay...oh I am sorry, anti-gay....oh, sorry....SSA treatments work, says Chris:
"AIM increased my sense of belonging. Having men who don't have SSA on this weekend helped me to mimic their words, actions and beliefs. I believe this is what separates AIM from other weekends I've done. Just to feel accepted by other men and to see that they have the same worries and fears that I have."
In Amsterdam the canal cruise of the Pride boats gathers hundreds of thousands of viewers, straight and gay and whatever. It is adopted as part of what Amsterdam and rightly so. Pride is a fun event to witness. Sense of belonging can apparently be reached using other means as well.
I met yesterday a friend of mine who works for a gay and lesbian organisation and we talked about the concept of solidarity. During the Amsterdam partying it is fairly easy to forget that in many European countries similar events are regularly banned or taking part poses a great risk to personal safety.
It is somehow sad to see rather often gay men living in the affluent centre of Amsterdam who strongly distance themselves from the whole LGBT agenda and claim that they have never suffered any discrimination. Anti-immigration sentiments are not unknown.
For many the Pride is another excuse to party. And while there is nothing wrong in having a good party, it should not be forgotten that quite some people were beaten up before one can in 2007 in the centre of Amsterdam stand on a boat in a drag outfit and shout:"Freedom!"
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10 hours ago