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The Ambassadors for Amsterdam Pride 2018: Vanny Reyes

by Paul Hofman in Events & Agenda , 24 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. Vanny Reyes, co-ordinator Empowerment at COC.

Vanny Reyes by Noah ValentynVanny Reyes:
“Helping people make their own choices”

When asked to become a Pride Amsterdam 2018 ambassador, Vanny Reyes (45) was speechless for a while. “I was euphoric and could hardly believe it.”

Besides his work as an information analyst at public transport company GVB, he is also co-ordinator Ontmoeting and Empowerment at COC Amsterdam on a voluntary base. “It has become much more than just a way of spending free time.”

Enthusiastically, Vanny talks about his youth, studies, work and ambassadorship. He is pre-eminently the face of the bicultural Dutchman. His roots lie on Aruba, where he was born as the youngest son in a marriage between a Colombian mother and Aruban father. In this age of polarization, he is clearly not "a privileged white person".

After his secondary school on the windward island he decides to study in the Netherlands. Amsterdam is the city of his dreams. Even before travelling to the Netherlands, he has his unofficial coming-out. “I started rebelling against my now divorced parents. My mother was understanding. She had known for a while. My father was not happy with it and did not speak to me for a long time.”

After he said to have accepted Vanny's homosexuality in 2003, contact was restored. “Fortunately, I am now in touch with both my parents again.”

As ambassador, he is committed to voluntary work in general, as well as diversity and inclusiveness. He is working as a volunteer for COC Amsterdam and has been through the mill like no other when it comes to non-native Dutch LGBT+.

“Safety is key.”

He emphasizes that "not only is organizing activities important, but also helping people to stand up for themselves, while making their own choices.” This Pride's theme means a lot to him.

Who is his greatest hero? “All the volunteers and my parents. Volunteers because they, with all their heart and passion, contribute to the acceptance of sexual and gender diversity. And my parents because they gave me love, support and above all a great basis to work from to be myself.”

     Amsterdam Pride 2018, July 28 till August 5
see also




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

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