Staying Proud: Amsterdam Pride 2015

As America catches up with Holland in the tolerance-for-all department, the Dutch capital will celebrate its position as one of the world’s most socially liberal countries during Amsterdam Pride 2015—a city-wide celebration of equality for the LGBT crowd. The week-long festivities will begin July 25, with most activities planned from July 30–August 2.

To put things in historical context, same-sex activity has been legal in Holland since 1811. Homosexuality was declassified as a mental illness in 1973, and the Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage in 2001. According to recent polls, more than 90% of Dutchies now view homosexuality as moral (and presumably normal).

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Amsterdam is frequently named amongst the world’s most LGBT friendly cities.

Amsterdam is frequently named amongst the most LGBT friendly cities in the world, renowned for its plethora of accommodations, bars, restaurants and saunas that cater to the LGBT community. The city’s famous liberal-mindedness was the catalyst for such resources as Pink Point near the Westerkerk, where gays can access free guidance and information. Nearby, the Homomonument, completed in 1987, is the first monument in the world commemorating homosexuals who were persecuted and killed during World War II.

Counterpoint to this social liberalism, there are still 75+ countries in the world—including eight where the death penalty can be imposed for same-sex intimacy—with criminal laws against homosexuality, according to the latest tally from ILGA, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. Happily, no country in Europe still has laws against homosexuality.

Party Hard at Amsterdam Pride 2015

Drag queens who wish to take part in this year's premier sporting event of the drag athletic world can show up at Westerkerk at 17:00 with wig + heels.
Don’t miss the Drag Queen Olympics, where attire is as important as sporting prowess.

As one of the largest celebrations of its kind on Earth, Amsterdam Pride annually draws more than 350,000 gay, straight and transgender party animals. The city turns into a rainbow of dance parties, film festivals, sporting events and cultural fun during more than a week of flamboyant festivities.

Throughout the week, trendy gays will party on the Reguliersdwarsstraat, Rembrandtplein and Zeedijk. Gay venues near the Amstel cater to a more Dutch crowd, while Café Saarein is the base for LesBian Pride. Special events also are hosted at IHLIA, the city’s gay archive and library, on the sixth floor of the Amsterdam Public Library (OBA). Traditionally, there’s also a Grey Pride program geared for seniors.

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Drag queens who wish to take part in this year’s premier sporting event can show up at Westerkerk at 17:00 with wig + heels.

The annual Pride Walk and outdoor street party will launch the festivities at the Homomonument near the Westerkerk, on Thursday, July 30, followed by after-parties at Dirty Dicks, Club Church, Eagle and Club NYX. Don’t miss the hilarious Drag Queen Olympics at the Westermarkt on Friday, July 31 at the Homomonument, featuring such scintillating events as the Stiletto Sprint, Handbag Discus and the Tug of Love, where kinky dress and attitude are as important as sporting prowess. If you like what you see and want to hook up, go for a cruise at (Z)onderbroek, the popular Friday night underwear party at Club Church.

Pride Highlight: The Prinsengracht Canal Parade

As in years past, the festive canal parade along the Prinsengracht and Amstel River will highlight Pride 2015 on Saturday, August 1. Beginning at 13:30 at the beginning of the Prinsengracht at Westerdok harbor, the event will feature 80 lavishly decorated barges, many bursting with onboard DJs and buff bods clad in skimpy costumes, sailing along the canals until 18:00. Smaller craft form a maritime flotilla of fun as they line up for canal-side viewing along the parade route.

GayHeaven
The canal parade along the Prinsengracht and Amstel River will highlight Pride 2015 on Saturday, August 1.

At the end of the Prinsengracht, the parade turns onto the Amstel, passing Amsterdam’s renowned Skinny Bridge (Magere Brug) and the Stadshuis/Muziektheater. Views abound all along the route, but the most popular spots are near the Magere Brug and at the Stopera/City Hall.

The Pride Closing Party will again take place on a massive stage at the Rembrandtplein, beginning around 14:00 on Sunday, August 2. Dutch artists and DJs will entertain the mixed crowd, many recovering from hangovers after a week of partying. Those who haven’t had enough of boys and booze can carry on with Rapido Pride in Amsterdam’s beloved Paradiso, and Rapido After at Hotel Arena. Stay proud!

10 comments

  1. Sounds fantastic! Such a shame I’ll be missing it by a week. More importantly, it’s a shame that Australia still hasn’t caught up with the Netherlands. We’re only just now putting through a bill for gay marriage.. Fingers crossed!

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  2. After reading this, I am even more excited to have come to Amsterdam to be a part of it! Coming from San Francisco, also a very liberal-minded and LGBT friendly area, I am interested to see how Amsterdam compares. With some of my best friends, we have attended drag shows (even participated in some informal ones haha), and love embracing people of all sexual and General interests, backgrounds, and communities!

    I hope to meet more friendly open minded people here in Amsterdam, and check out some of the events mentioned in this post–we had already planned on attending the canal parade, but haven’t heard of the drag queen Olympics, which are definitely going to be added to our agenda!

    Can’t wait, thanks for the great post!

    Like

  3. After reading this, I am even more excited to have come to Amsterdam to be a part of it! Coming from San Francisco, also a very liberal-minded and LGBT friendly area, I am interested to see how Amsterdam compares. With some of my best friends, we have attended drag shows (even participated in some informal ones haha), and love embracing people of all sexual and General interests, backgrounds, and communities!

    I hope to meet more friendly open minded people here in Amsterdam, and check out some of the events mentioned in this post–we had already planned on attending the canal parade, but haven’t heard of the drag queen Olympics, which are definitely going to be added to our agenda!

    Can’t wait, thanks for the great post!

    Like

  4. Melissa, Your love of Amsterdam as your adopted home comes through loud and clear, always enticing your readers to come, visit, enjoy! It is a remarkable and unique city, and you are a great ambassador for it. To have shared a day of this outrageously fun and friendly celebration with you was a fabulous treat! There is nothing like having a local friend to make a new place accessible and more meaningful. Thank you!

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  5. Such an advanced approach in such early times! I was expecting something like that about Amsterdam)) in my country such people can not leave a full life and to feel accepted, but they naively believe that we will adapt Dutch attitude in nearest years…I advice such my friends to move to Holland and to see the difference…respect to those who promoted this ideas of liberty! We have a lot to learn…

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  6. Too bad Germany still has no legal gay marriage. We can learn quite much from our neighbors! But as long as the conservatives are at power it probably won’t change.
    I love watching the parades, where they show of, don’t hide and are proud of the way they are. It had a deep impact on me, when I saw the CSD Parade in Cologne 2004. Too bad I am visiting Amsterdam in September and not in July.

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  7. Wow 90% believe it is moral, that is an incrediy impressive number! I wonder where Iceland lies in comparison. A very complete article, I always knew Amsterdam was progressive but the stats are amazing!

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