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The Ambassadors for Amsterdam Pride 2018: Serdar Manavoglu

by Paul Hofman in Events & Agenda , 23 juli 2018

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

As every year, Amsterdam Pride is extremely proud of their ambassadors. This year's theme could not have suited them better, as each and every one of them have given their all for the LGBTI community. Serdar Manavoglu, from Pink Istanbul.

Serdar Manavoglu, by Noah ValentynSerdar Manavoglu
“There is still much work to be done”

Serdar Manavoglu (41), although his name suggests otherwise, was born and raised in Amsterdam. After graduating as a political scientist, he unexpectedly ended up at pop temple Paradiso. Ten years ago as a programmer, he was one of the people spearheading Pink Istanbul. Later, the high-profile Turkish boat followed.

Eight years ago, he started a Dutch version of the party in Istanbul. Both were immensely successful. “By offering people a stage and through sharing stories, I want to build bridges.”

Serdar was pleasantly surprised to be asked to become an ambassador, but had to give it some thought. “I had to consider that is not just any job. It is so much more than that. At the same time I thought: who am I to think I can pull this off?”

However, he accepted the challenge. “There is still much to do in the field of LGBT emancipation within ethnic groups. Muslim gays are high on my list of priorities. I think they should be more visible.” Many Turkish-Dutch and native Dutch think that Turkish-Dutch homosexuals should give up their identity when they come out of the closet.

Expressions of identity and culture are imposed on you, or, reversely, claimed by and for homosexuals. But that does not work, as it is an impossible choice.

How can you choose between giving up your ethnic identity, exchanging it for your sexual identity?” During the Pride he will visit as many activities and people as possible and talk to the people there. “To me, connecting people on a small scale is key. I think that is the best strategy.”

Being seen as a role model makes him shy. He never had to deal with anti-gay violence. “I was lucky.” That anti-gay violence is increasing in both the Netherlands and Turkey is of great concern to him.

“This hardening, polarization and increased aggression feels threatening... Yet I think people should continue to keep the conversation alive.  It is half the battle.”

   Amsterdam Pride 2018, July 28 till August 5
see also




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