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.
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.
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.
EuroPride 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.
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.
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.
First 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.
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.
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!
Next 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.
The sound my (on loan) mobility scooter was making lately, got worse and worse. So yesterday I called the service department and told them what was going on, and also asked if they had heard back from Social Services (WMO) about a new scooter. Of the latter they didn’t know and they would call me back. On the complain they could act swiftly, for a change, the next day.
Early this morning a service technician arrived, he thought he knew what was wrong with the scooter and opened it up… he noticed immediately something was wrong, very wrong. The fuse had burnt a hole through the outer skin of the battery, and the three of us, the battery, scooter and I could have gone up in smoke and burnt meat. I’m not a big fan of barbecued meat especially if its me, myself and I, or to eat. But in my mind’s eye I could see the fun of it.
Now the scooter is parked in the downstairs hallway, sans batteries. I just hope to hear from the service department soon when new batteries will be available, so I can be on my way again.
No wheels means not that I stay at home, tonight I’m going to hear the Messiah sung by the GALA choir (Gay And Lesbian Amsterdam) at Old Lutheran Church (Oude Lutherse) on Singel, and tomorrow evening my “ship comes in…” (You have to wait for that story).
A few weeks ago I was contacted by a Humanitarian Caregiver who works in a OAP. One of his clients had the strong feeling of being a transgender woman, and he wanted to show himself as said woman to the world, or at least in the confines of the Old Age People’s home he lives in.
Two of my best friends are transgender women, and they both work in and for their community. The HC had met them once, but didn’t know how to connect with them, so he came to me with two requests. The first to talk with the transgender and the people who take care of him/her, and second if my friends would like to talk during a lecture on transgender’s in one of Gay OAP homes he works in.
Because all the hectic of Gay Pride, Day of Hearts and Sail Amsterdam, it took some time to get a date fixed so the two of them could meet the client, the social worker and the staff.
Yesterday was the day it happened, they met with the staff, told them that they had to think outside the box. Becoming someone else is not a kit, but a transition. They also made arrangements so the person will be fitted out with good make-up, shoes and a wig to go with the dress he bought online.
Afterwards they dropped by at my place with small, but warm, Indonesian pancake rolls. We talked about how the meeting went, consumed the pancake rolls, drank some wine, talked about other stuff, ate dinner together (re-heating a quiche and a pie), had coffee and/or tea and before we knew it 5 hours had passed.
I hope they have a great time during their vacation in Normandy. Have a save trip!