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‘People that are different are born sick!’

by Editorial Staff in Nightlife & Reports , 11 december 2011


In September youngsters filmed the response of random people in several neighborhoods to the photo installations of Pride Photo Award 2011. The clips showed how superficial tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality still is: it’s fine if you think you’re gay ‘as long as I don’t have to see it!’ The winning photos of Pride Photo Award 2011 were displayed outside on several squares in the city and youngsters filmed short interviews with passers by. The photos show the diversity of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and play with images of masculinity and femininity.

The clips show how superficial the famed Amsterdam tolerance really is.
I shouldn’t get too close:

‘If it was my own daughter I’d say: rather not.’ ‘I don’t have issues with it, as long as I’m not confronted with it.’ Or they conceal their negative opinion: ‘Gays are smart and popular with women, but they behave like women too.’



The ignorance on homosexuality is still rife, as in these responses:
‘It’s a choice.’ ‘I think they have a psychological or mental defect.’ ‘People that are different from us are born sick.’ Sometimes the responses are shocking: ‘I’ll find out how to cure it.’ and ‘These photos arouse hatred.’

Fortunately there are also many positive reactions.
People are enthusiastic about the fact that these photos are shown in the public space:
‘I’m happy to live in a diverse city.’ ‘I hope that when people talk with each other, there will be more understanding.’

A selection of quotes is used to stir the discussion at Speak Up! Events for young people organized in several Amsterdam neighborhoods. At these events young people discuss themes like ‘masculinity, femininity and the possibility to be who you are in the public space.’ Well-known people from the neighborhood and local officials, musicians and celebrities take part in the discussion, they share their views and experiences. The kick off for the Speak Up! Events was held in Amsterdam Nieuw-West.

In the busy neighborhood centre Eigenwijks youngsters discussed homosexuality and their own sense of security in the public space. They talked about the pressure of society on one’s looks and what they though was confronting. Local rap artist Rahmani energized the room with his raps. The final Speak Up! Event will be held on the 3rd of November in Club Air.

The interview clips can be seen at the YouTube Pride Photo Award channel.





 







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In the New Issue of Gay News, 316, December 2017

















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