Category Archives: GLBT

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…

Stretching…

Yesterday’s Pride Walk also broke a new record, while the front of the walk passed halfway over Rokin, near Dam square (the destination), the last people of the walk just left the beginning at Vondelpark, a stretch of 2 km (1.24 miles). Traffic and public transport was blocked for nearly an hour and a half.

You may think that’s not that far or long, but those of you that have visit the centre of Amsterdam, and have seen the traffic through the narrow streets, cyclists included, know how a great havoc this can become.

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The flags you see are from the 79 nations in the world where you can’t show whom you love, or live the life you want to live. In 12 of them you are killed for being gay.

I was somewhere half a kilometer behind this group, just turning up at  Munt square, driving my mobility scooter and Pink Noord banner, a local group of LGBT’s who meet for drinks. (BTW this photo was taken while we were still waiting in Vondelpark.
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Next to me is Els also in a scooter, she’s a huge supporter for human rights, who lives on the opposite side of town in the Southeast.

American friend Bob Newmark who lives in Amsterdam posted 444 photos of the Pride Walk on Facebook. You can find me and his photos here.

The Party Has Started…

DSC00695-1EuroPride 2016 in Amsterdam has just started.  My first thing today was attending the opening of the photo expo of Café ‘t Mandje (the Basket) @ St Olaf’s chapel on Zeedijk. This bar is Gay friendly since 1927, when it was still a crime to be Gay. I’m a customer of the bar but also a friend of the one who made the concept for the show.

Hi, I'm Amy Huiswijn and I present to you De Roze Poort (The Pink Gate)
Hi, I’m Amy Huiswijn and I present to you De Roze Poort (The Pink Gate)

Again I met many people I know, and told them about our new project, which includes the concept-maker, and we’ve had several people who want to contribute to our project. Especially after they heard what happened. First a residential care home would pick-up the bill, but they wanted total control, but never showed up when we invited them. Now we’re doing the same thing but on a private basis, and several care homes want to join in the concept.

Later today I’ll join the Pride Walk, not walking but driving in the mobility-scooter. Just as a few years back carrying the Pink Noord banner, a local group who meets each other every two months for a drink, and make plans for other activities we could do together.

 

A Masterpiece

No not a painting, architecture or a photo collage as you’ve seen on this blog these first days of the new year, but a movie.

Two friends of us were invited, by Universal, to see the press preview of The Danish Girl. Mario and I were the +1. We all knew snippets of the story, some of us a bit more than others. The preview was at Filmhallen, a former tram depot now turned into a cultural centre.

the-danish-girlFirst we were welcomed by chairwoman Irene Hemelaar of Amsterdam Pride, she did the introduction to the movie too. We also met several other people we know in our circles, and even two days late we still wished them all the best for 2016.

The movie
As I said before A MASTERPIECE! Great casting of Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander as artist couple Einar and Gerda Wegener.

Two moments define the remarkable story of the Danish artist Einar Wegener/Lili Elbe the first transgender person to undergo reassignment surgery. Einar/Lili (Eddie Redmayne) slipping on stockings and ballet pumps to stand in for a life model awakens Einer’s female self and Einar/Lili stating her belief that she’s a woman inside a male body reaffirmed by Einer’s wife Gerda.

The setting was great, the whitewashed cool colors of Copenhagen, the vibrant warm colors of Paris and sterile stand off of Dresden. It offers a painterly quality with costumes and interiors made for the camera which if anything masks the psychological and later the physical reality of the experimental operations Lili underwent in Dresden. But also the music score fit so right in this movie. A must see!

‘I believe I am a woman’ – Einer/Lili. ‘I believe it too’ – Gerda.

Christmas Party

I had a great time during the Christmas Party of Luna Lunettes crew and guests of Siorée Frivolettes Culinettes at Martine’s home base, the farm just outside of Amsterdam. We celebrated the past year in the barn, just outside the sliding doors the cows were standing and the chickens were rummaging to find something to eat. Everyone brought something to eat or drink, and knowing our crew we had enough to drink!

251574Next to SFC we also celebrated the X-mas Extravaganza, that a part of the crew is to show next week, during a Pink drink in the eastern part of the city. We’re part of a “family”, a bunch of friends who work together, party together, but also do cultural things together.

Pictures of todays event will appear later, I didn’t brought my camera. But one thing is for sure… a large amount of white powder was available to all… this is Amsterdam after all! Icing sugar to cover the pancakes and Weihnachts-stollen.