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Silver Anniversary With a Pink Lining

by Editorial Staff in Nightlife & Reports , 03 juni 2011

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

The national information and advice hotline Gay & Lesbian Switchboard celebrates its 25th anniversary. The Switchboard is a gay household name in Holland. Both youngsters wanting info on coming out as well as gays of a certain age seeking advice on homosexuality, bisexuality and transgender lifestyle issues find what they’re looking for with the Switchboard.

The Switchboard started in 1986. Until then there was nothing like it while the need of a central point for gay queries was evident. Switchboard first launched a gay page on Dutch teletekst (447). Guus Silvertand was the first who started work as intermediate on special services for gay men and women on social, medical, cultural and general issues. Volunteers made sure the telephone service was available 24/7. They worked from a secret spot in the city.

Gay services

Over the following years Switchboard grew out to the information source for all issues around homosexuality and bisexuality. Nowadays the service has been extended with a website and e-mail possibilities.

Transgenders have been added to the target group. In 2004 Switchboard merged with both COC Nederland and Schorer. Since 2009 Switchboard is a part of the Schorer organization.

Photo Guus Siverentand

These days, gay men, lesbian women, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT) find a listening ear, information or advice on office days. Also professionals and people in the direct environment of LGBT people know where to find the Switchboard.

There are six volunteers working at Switchboard, some have been there for over fifteen years. Whether they’re answering the telephone or e-mails, or work to keep the national events’ calendar up to date, their enthusiasm and commitment is huge. Schorer is proud of this anniversary.

Switchboard: and 020 623 65 65 (Monday to Friday noon -6 pm)



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