Beyond the parties (of which there were many), beyond the parade (which was spectacular), what struck me the most about Amsterdam Gay Pride was its diversity. Fully embracing the city’s tagline of “I amsterdam” to incorporate the Pride slogan of “We are,” residents and tourists—straight and gay—took to the streets and waterways to honor Amsterdam’s spirit of inclusiveness.
In Amsterdam, everyone comes out for Gay Pride!
The over 300 events planned during August 1-8, 2010, had a little something for each person. On the Friday and Saturday evenings, Reguliersdwarsstraat Street and Rembrandtplein Square were converted into packed outdoor street parties with DJs, live performances and lots and lots of Heineken. But beyond the partying, this 15th edition of Amsterdam Gay Pride premiered new events for all within the LGBT community: For the ladies, there were Lesbian Pride festivities, which included Cumshots, the Netherlands’ first lesbian porn festival; Grey Pride presented events for the elder statesmen of the gay community; and for the first time, the Pink Kids Festival, included some fun especially geared toward children and their gay parents.
Of course, the pièce de résistance of the week was the Canal Parade. On Saturday, eighty boats floated down the canals, despite substantial rain. Yet no cloud could truly rain on that parade as, what seemed like all of Amsterdam donned their pink apparel and cheered the floating barges. Some highlights included the new addition of the Jewish LGBT boat (some with their pink yarmulkes), the African Pride Boat (calling attention to the criminal treatment of gays and lesbian on the African continent), and the Europe Pride Boat, (which for the first time hosted a classical orchestra, playing the European anthem: the final movement of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony).
During Amsterdam Gay Pride, the entire city embraces its pink side.