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Daring To Stand Up For Our Rights

by Rick van der Made in Columns & Opinions , 16 maart 2018

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

I saw #ikbenhetzat (I’ve had enough) on the social media profiles of gay friends after a twenty-four-year-old gay man was beaten and robbed in Amsterdam.

The GLBTI community has to deal with intolerance every day. In the twelve years I have run a company in Amsterdam, I myself have reported three incidents involving - let me be blunt - juvenile Moroccan-Dutch with an excess of testosterone.

Of course, whenever possible, I participate in demonstrations: Arnhem, Amsterdam, Paris. I will plant a rainbow flag on the moon if necessary. With every abuse I consider how sad it is that “my” minority must continue to fight for its right to exist, even in my country.

Have we sunk so low in this country that we have to take the word “fight” literally and get “a group of pink thugs” to patrol the streets?


With my GLBTI community I want to take a stand where necessary, but in fighting the monster, I don’t want to become one myself.

I reject violence, and I want to show the country what tolerance really means.

Perhaps, at the next defilement of a mosque, I should call on all my GLBTI brothers and sisters to stand in a circle around that mosque, hand in hand and dressed up to the nines.

In my “straight-friendly” hotel in the centre of Amsterdam I have employed Moroccan-Dutch employees for years without any problems. Six months ago, a sixteen-year-old trainee of Moroccan origin was also functioning to everyone’s satisfaction.

Of course, we do not always have to turn the other cheek. And yes, the excesses of our multicultural society do enrage me, but I detest any form of violence and intolerance. I think everyone in this country should get a chance. If I can give that chance to those who need it the most, I will do so wholeheartedly.

I am proud to be part of a community that says “enough is enough.” A community that stand up for its right to exist and dares to make a stand.

I am proud of my company when I hear my Moroccan receptionist explain to guests where the gay entertainment areas in our capital are; when I hear my breakfast lady with headdress is having fun with the older gay couple staying in my hotel.

Naive? Perhaps. However, I am not that naive to think I can make this world so much nicer.

At the most, I can try not to make it any harsher.




In the New Issue of Gay News, 335, July 2019

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