Category Archives: Gay

Day Of Hearts… I Love You!

HartjesdagOriginally Hartjesdag (Day of Hearts) was a festival celebrated on the third Monday in August in the areas of Haarlem and Bloemendaal and in various parts of Amsterdam, particularly around the Haarlemmerplein, in the Jordaan, and on Zeedijk. On Hartjesdag fires were kindled and children collected money. Later it developed itself into a type of cross-dressing carnival, where men dressed as women, and women dressed as men. A typical scene was captured in the oil painting entitled Hartjesdag, by the artist Johan Braakensiek in 1926.

During the German occupation in 1942 the Hartjesdag became prohibited, and after the war it eventually became obsolete. In 1997 a local committee on Zeedijk, Amsterdam, decided to see if they could revive the tradition. Each year since then, the festival has flourished into a two-day event on the 3rd weekend in August.

Where the name Hartjesdag comes from is not clear. Probably it has arisen in the Middle Ages. It is suspected that the name is a bastardisation of ‘hertjesdag‘ (Deer Day). This was a festival where in the forests around Haarlem deer (herten) hunting could be done by the ordinary people, which was normally reserved for nobility. The deer were then taken to Amsterdam and roasted in the streets.

On Sunday evening it’s now ‘Night of Romance’, when at the bars and restaurants, but also in small theaters in the surrounding streets, live music is played and songs are sung. On Monday they start with a brunch for the people of the neighborhood, and the ones who feel part of the neighborhood (like me, and I live 4.5km on the other side of town). After brunch the ‘Hearts’ (people who normally don’t cross-dress) and ‘Queens’ (the ones who do!) can register to win a prize at the end of the day.

I was greeted by a creature looking as ‘Divine’ who knew me by name, and I didn’t know who he was. I do know now, and when he dares to do it, with consent of his wife, I can do it too… next year!

Here are some photos who were posted on Facebook, I thanked the photographers already. They are in random order, and will change place every time you open this page. Click on one and it will open in a new page, there you can scroll through them.

EuroPride 2016, The Party Is Almost Over…

Yesterday was the main event of EuroPride2016, our world-famous Canal Parade. I didn’t make photos, others have better equipment and a more steady hand than I do. Below you find some impressions and on Facebook you’ll find another 595+ photos…

Almost There…

I do love the time I’ve had visiting all those Pride places, meeting new people, connecting with old friends again and networking the crowd.

Last Friday I helped a friend out at an ‘old age pensioners home’ (OAP), pumping up balloons for the big show event on Tuesday.

On Saturday I cancelled a viewing of an exhibit and a ‘baptism’ of a new magazine, due to the summer storm we had.

On Sunday the storm died down a bit but was replaced with a monsoon.

Monday came soon enough, the opening of Senior Pride at OBA (Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam aka Public Library). This was held in the Theater of the Word on the seventh floor, of course afterwards we all went for a drink or two, three, fou… in the bars on Zeedijk.

Without much sleep Tuesday arrived soon afterwards… Drag-queen friends would perform at OAP, with songs from the past but also some of the present. It was a fun day out not only for those old folk but for me aswell.

Wednesday was showtime for our team of artists at the Palace of Melancholy (Paleis van de Weemoed) a small theater we use in the heart of the Red Light district. Again I didn’t sleep in bed, but fell asleep in my comfy chair while the TV was still on and the lights were burning.

Mini%2520Moet%2520Rose%252020clThursday came and another event was planned at the Palace, but this time in front of it, the stage was floating in the canal and so was the green room (which was pink btw), my workplace. I only had to keep the audience at bay. A nice security officer kept an eye on it too, from accross the road. They told him in advance I had problems with walking and running. I only met the crew last week, I felt like I fell into a hot bath, the warmth and camaraderie of the staff was great. Another night in the comfy chair was enjoyed.

Just an hour ago it was Friday, which started for me with the CockTail Party in the forecourt at Legend The Grand Hotel in the former Prinsenhof (Princes Court). At last we had dry weather, and even the sun was shining. Upon arrival we got a mini bottle of Rosé Imperial by Moët & Chandon, delicious bitterballen (small veal croquettes) but also a choice of cheeses and meats. The waiting staff included. 😉

Several performances were planned, like Lady Felice & The Rozettes (we already have tickets for the next show) and Grand Diva Karin Bloemen who sang a song with a new text on a famous melody, many wondered if they heard her right when she sang about fucking, blow-jobs and rimming. (Yeah, you heard her right!)

My friends and I won in the raffle a big bottle of Pink Champagne by M&C and two crystal flutes, of the three of us only two drink alcohol and the date is already set when this consuming will happen. Afterwards we went to hear Ms Victory False sing at the Getto bar on Warmoesstraat, but also her special guest Pete Statham, both are communal friends of ours.

It’s already Saturday, and the main event is the Canal Parade. Our floats really float! But more of that later. There are only two days left of Amsterdam Pride 2015. I must admit, I look forward to Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday because I have nothing planned but a good book and sleep, lots of sleep.


thankyouNormally I write my ‘Thank You’ note on the first day of Christmas, my birthday, now with still a few days to go I want to thank the people who enriched my life these past 12 months.

Of course my physicians are part of it, I haven’t seen them this much this year and I hope to keep it that way, unless they need me one way or an other. Because of them I can walk again, short distances, and without crutches!  But also the friends I gained over the years, some of them I’ve met, others who give advice over the internet, I thank all of you. Just to name a few, Anne-Marie near Philadelphia (who I met thru a shrink in Phoenix AZ), Wayne in Delaware struggling to stay alive with his form of blood-cancer and Josh in Podunk, Indiana, an online pastor. (still a good friend after i lost “the Faith”).

But also the people who gave me will power, see my inner strength while they showed me theirs. Just to name a few, Charl Bakker (links to FB), Pete Statham, Luna Lunettes and Tom de Jong. (sorry some sites are in Dutch only), a big ‘Thank You’ to all of you!

But also my sisters (big and small), younger brother and Dad, who were a big support after Mum died on November 1, 2014.

Thanks for keeping me sane, enriching my life, looking forward to a bright future. See you all, online or in real life, next year!





Canal Pride 2014

It’s a long post, not in text but in photos. Click the first one and you’ll see a bigger version, some have a text to explain it.

Symphonica in …

SymhonicaCasaRosso2Symphonica in Rosso is an annual music event held in the Gelredome in Arnhem. The first edition in 2006 with Dutch singer Marco Borsato was sold out with ten shows, and 325,000 people attended these shows.

Symphonica in Casa Rosso is a whole different event, it’s only one word extra in the title but also it has 32,320 seats less a performance. Casa Rosso is an erotic theater in Amsterdam’s Red Light District. I’m sure you’ve heard of this part of town, where men go “window shopping”, and sometimes often buy ‘fresh meat’ for 30 minutes or more. AKA ‘a roll in the hay.’

Who would have thought I would enter these doors for an afternoon of fun, first of all not I. When I told my Dad what I was up to this afternoon he was not amused. “Why would you go to a house of ill repute?!” he said “People could recognise you?” First of all I’m not going to see a hetero sex show, and second I’m going with gay friends who also never stepped over the threshold of this place.

Symphonica in Casa Rosso is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the big event, it’s a program of ultra-light entertainment and irresponsible amusement as they call it themselves. With old and new hits by Coco Coquette, Desiree dello Stiletto,  Mizz Mopsie, Tilly Trekhaak, Rose Murphy and Victoria False.

You guessed it… with names like that it must be a drag show, which it is… in a sex theater! 😉