Yesterday Amsterdam hosted the annual World/EuroPride event. A colorful event full of festivities and extrovert parties. Although these celebrations carry a serious message of equality and the (still occurring lack thereof), it’s also just that; a celebration. Every year the amount of negative comments on- and off-line surprise me. Have you ever noticed that when people make statements starting with; “I have nothing against…..” and end with “but,….”, they actually state the exact opposite?
Being born & raised in the Netherlands, the world’s first country to legalize gay marriage, I never understood the controversy. I grew up in a small town in the middle of the Netherlands where my mother conducted the first gay marriages in the region. I always saw this as something fun, but never as anything strange or wrong even. If anything, coming from a place that promotes tolerance and equality and my mother contributing to this equality is something which makes me proud. The only controversy in this story is that the Netherlands was the fist country in the world to legalize gay marriage in 2001. That’s only 15 years ago. On the one hand it’s something to be proud off but on the other hand, it’s nothing less than a disgrace that it had to take this long.
When I talk about gay rights, people often ask me if I am gay or whether I have many gay friends. I always answer them politely with a no and yes but honestly I don’t see how that’s relevant. I am pro-human rights and equality. Therefore I am pro gay rights. I don’t see how the two can be seen separately. Can only women be feminists? Or can only black people support the Black lives Matter movement? It’s about human rights, standing up for on another. Personally, I think you can’t claim to be pro-human rights while at the same time, you only speak up for your own sub-group. Human rights include everyone.
In honor of the WorldPride events, I would like to share this video with you.