Current Affairs

This powerful rainbow flag dress protesting anti-gay laws is coming home

Mayer Nissim August 1, 2017
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Billed as a “living work of art” the Amsterdam Rainbow Dress is much more than just a frock.

Last year at Pride in Amsterdam, 26-year-old transgender model Valentijn de Hingh collaborated with fashion designer Matthijs van Bergensi and artist Oeri van Woezik on the dress.

It features the flags of 72 countries where it is still illegal to be gay, many of which still have the death penalty for same-sex sexual acts.

Amsterdam Rainbow Dress (Pieter Henket
Amsterdam Rainbow Dress (Pieter Henket)

Related: Where is it illegal to be gay? A look at all the countries where homosexuality is against the law

But what gets interesting is that whenever a country finally decriminalises homosexuality, its flag of shame is removed from the dress and replaced with a rainbow.

The dress has proved so popular it has been taken around the world to highlight the problem of those nations where people can be prosecuted just for being who they are.

Recently, the dress visited San Francisco, together with the deputy mayor of Amsterdam and a whole LGBTI-rights delegation.

The mission aimed to highlight the commemoration of Harvey Milk on Harvey Milk Day 2017 and strengthen the relationship between Amsterdam and San Francisco.

The incredible dress measures over 16 metres (that’s 52 feet) in diameter.

“Tomorrow, on August 2nd, the Amsterdam Rainbow Dress will be donated to the Amsterdam Museum and will thus become part of the collection and the history of the city of Amsterdam,” said the Amsterdam Rainbow Dress Foundation.

“Our foundation will continue to travel the world with the dress, raise awareness, do photo shoots and so on.

“With the dress being officially part of the city’s collection, we feel it’s message will become all the more powerful.”

Despite coming back home to Amsterdam, the dress will still continue to travel the world and raise the issue of those countries where it is illegal to be gay.

The dress will travel with an all LGBTI+ crew, giving lectures, educating, promoting refugees and supporting local communities.

A series of art photographs will also be taken in meaningful locations.

Related topics: Amsterdam, Europe, illegal, San Francisco, The Netherlands

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