Straight people to protest homophobia at Amsterdam Pride

PinkNews Staff Writer July 27, 2007
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Amsterdam’s Pride is one of the biggest in the world. The highlight of the weekend is the famous Canal Parade on Saturday afternoon.

Where most parades use trucks, Amsterdam has 100 spectacularly decorated boats.

This year, for the first time, a ‘hetero’ boat will take part, as a protest against the rise in homophobic attacks in the Netherlands in recent months.

“What always bothered me is that the public reaction wasn’t that strong. I would expect a much stronger outcry,” Coos Peterse, the ‘hetero’ boat organiser, told Reuters.

“Since I wasn’t hearing it, I thought maybe it was a good idea to make a statement, to celebrate with them that you’re free in Holland to live to your own preference.”

The ‘hetero’ boat, which can hold around 30 people, will be joined in the parade by craft carrying gay kids and their parents.

A 14-year-old boy, Danny Hoekzema, devised the plan to include a boat for LGBT teens in the parade along the city’s famous canals.

In February Amsterdam’s Mayor, Job Cohen, blocked the idea, as he thought it was “too risky.”

He had had a change of heart after Pride officials assured him that the children’s boat will be placed far away from the more “adult” participants.

Hoekzema used the internet to drum up support for his boat and 10 kids between the ages of 11 and 16 reportedly want to take part in the Pride parade.

The gay parade is watched by 350,000 spectators every year. This year’s event will take place over the weekend of the 3rd to 5th of August.

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