The Amsterdam Pride event should be less large-scale and put more emphasis on emancipation and protest. That is the outcome of discussions with the Amsterdam LGBTI community. In response to the criticism, Mayor Halsema wants to organize the Pride differently from next year.
Almost the entire LGBTI community thinks changes to the annual Pride are urgently needed, writes research agency Flowz , which spoke to representatives on behalf of the municipality. Opinions differ about the scope and interpretation of these changes.
For example, a large part of the community, but not the majority, thinks that the Canal Parade should be abolished altogether. They say that the boat parade has had its day and contributes less than in the past to the emancipation of LGBT people.
For example, many public places in the city become unsafe for the LGBTI community during Pride, which is completely against the goal. – Representatives of the Amsterdam LGBT community.
A small majority wants to keep the boat parade through the canals, but advocates changes. For example, there should be more boats for the community and less for the business community. They also want measures against pinkwashing . This means that participating companies acquire an LGBTI-friendly image, while they themselves pay insufficient attention to LGBTI rights.
Some people around the Canal Parade also feel unsafe and threatened. According to the representatives, this is partly due to the high party level, the presence of many non-LGBTI people and the high alcohol consumption. “For example, many public places in the city become unsafe for the LGBTI community during Pride and that goes against the goal,” the report says.
According to the researchers, almost the entire community believes that the Pride Walk, the protest march for equal rights, should be given a greater role in the nine-day event. Unlike the boat parade, there is no payment or drawing required to participate, making the walk more accessible and therefore more inclusive. For example, there are ideas to walk to the center every year from a different district of the city.
White straight crowd
There is also criticism of the square and street parties, which according to many representatives are too massive and festive and pay too little attention to a substantive message. “Many of the parties are increasingly visited by a (white) hetero public, which is not the intention of the street parties”, the participants in the study said. Representatives also advocate the abolition of VIP events and private drinks under the Pride flag.
Furthermore, a large part of the community believes that there is too much power in the organization with one party, so that the community itself has less say about the implementation. The organization should have an independent complaints committee and a supervisory board to look after the interests of the community.
Mayor Halsema writes to the city council that she wants to adjust the organization. That will only happen from next year, because it had already been determined that the Pride Amsterdam Foundation may organize the event until this year.
Gay pride or LGBT pride is the promotion of the self-affirmation, dignity, equality, and increased visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people as a social group. Pride, as opposed to shame and social stigma, is the predominant outlook that bolsters most LGBT rights movements.
More space for small groups
The changes from next year will only be finalized this autumn, Halsema writes, because the municipality wants to do even more research. She does share a number of main features of the new Pride policy.
For example, there must be room for all groups within the LGBTI community, including the smaller and marginalized groups. Furthermore, the organization is given to a particular party for four instead of ten years. That organizer must arrange some form of supervision and set up a complaints procedure.