With a cheer to the future, the new bar of COC Zwolle ‘De Garage’ was opened. The president of COC Netherlands Tanja Ineke and Zwolle's alderwoman Nelleke Vedelaar did so with the ‘first tap’: they were the first to tap a beer behind the new bar. The opening marks the beginning of a new era for this bar of the COC, which fights for the social acceptance of sexual and gender diversity in the Zwolle area.
Alderwoman Nelleke Vedalaar: “This not only a wonderful facelift and a great example of what people can achieve together. I also think it is praiseworthy that the COC chose to be a place for everyone with this bar.”
President Tanja Ineke of COC Netherlands concurs: “Going out in separate social groups is a thing of the past nowadays. Yet it is important that there are places you can be yourself completely as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, trangender or straight person. Precisely because of this it is extremely important for a COC in this region to have a bar like this one. Because being yourself and feeling accepted may seem normal, but that is not true everywhere, nor is it at all occasions. By ‘blending in’ you show people that homo and bisexuality are completely normal.”
Proud of volunteers
President Ilja de Jong of COC Zwolle: “And in the meantime, this has become a really cool bar that can be cosy, but has also become a lot bigger by unfastening the garage door at the back for parties, performances and busy nights. We will also be organising other events.”
More events with live music will be organised, and on Sunday for example, we can have a tasting of products from the Vechtdal. We will experiment for a while to see what our guests appreciate.
‘I am extremely proud of the team of volunteers,’ De Jong announced. “They have been active around the clock to make sure we could all be here for the opening.”
The COC building on the Kamperstraat in Zwolle has been renamed ‘De Garage,’ a reference to the function of the building of Opel dealer Smit&Coat at number 17 in the 1960s. After the dealer moved, the building was rebuilt as a dance school. The COC moved in in the late 1990s. The bar has elements that refer to the past of the building as a car dealership.
The agenda of the new bar, which is opened on Thursday through Sunday, can be found on the website of COC Zwolle, but now also has its own Internet address: CafeDeGarage.nl
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COC Zwolle Confident About the Future with 'De Garage'