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COC Netherlands calls on the Jehovah's Witnesses organisation to remove an LGBTI hostile video from their website, and have a conversation with the gay interest group.

Jul 2017       
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For the thirteenth time, drag queen and king athletes from around the globe will flock to Amsterdam to compete in the world’s one and only drag sporting event, The Drag Olympics.

Jul 2017       
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Bölke kicks off the Grolsch Summer Sounds for the eleventh time on Thursday, July 20th. Again this year, the Oude Markt in Enschede will be the place to be from 19:00 to 00:30 on, with spectacular acts, drag queens, dancers, live performances and exciting music.

Jul 2017       
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BA KDOOR® is the gay and open-minded dance and social event on Saturday night. It takes you on a trip through the new and approved Amsterdam club scene, with artists and performance art: for people who love people!

Jul 2017       
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The Amsterdam Gay Pride Foundation has grown. Besides the work organization and the board, ten committees are now also up and running. The purpose of each committee is to ensure an attractive and festive program that has real content. Four of these committee chairmen give some more information on their committee, as well as the parts of the Pride program they helped initiate.

Jul 2017       
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In mid-July, a wonderful photo book by American photographer Shirley Agudo titled “Amsterdam Streethearts” will be released by publishing house Bas Lubberhuizen. The month of August in Amsterdam traditionally comes with an abundance of colors, with GLBTs visiting from all over the world to attent the famous Canal Parade, but also to enjoy the Drag Olympics.

Jul 2017       
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In the media, terms such as “transgender” and “gender identity” are increasingly used, while “genderqueer” and “gender fluid” are still relatively new concepts. It should be clear that the traditional male/female role models are slowly shifting, and that especially the younger generation is increasingly seeking new ways to express their own identity in less conventional ways.

Jul 2017       
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Bianca Del Rio will be visiting Amsterdam on July 28 as part of her comedy tour. This guarantees an enjoyable evening full of provocative entertainment. On the threshold of her visit we were allowed to ask her some questions.

Jul 2017       
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Impression of an amazing Weekend in Brussels, last Easter

Jun 2017       
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In the past, coming out as a gay man often meant considering: “But I wanted to be a father, and that’s going to be impossible.” In the Netherlands now, male couples or single gays have several options in order to realize their wish to become a father.

Jun 2017       
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On behalf of the municipality of Amsterdam and the Bestuurlijk Overleg Zwerfjongeren, The Netherlands centre for social development Movisie will map the problems of homeless Dutch LGBTI youth. Unique to this research is the fact that some of the researchers were previously homeless themselves.

Jun 2017       
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A pastor in Brunswick, Georgia, USA, who was fiercely campaigning against gay and transgender rights, was at the end of April sentenced to thirty-five years in prison for sexual molestation of a fifteen-year-old boy and girl.

Jun 2017       
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In the SBS6 TV show Hart van Nederland, transgender woman Jessica tells the horrible tale of her being taken hostage and abused. Five suspects are now in custody. Jessica has shared her story on television because ‘this ordeal should not happen to anyone in the future’. Transgender Netwerk Nederland (TNN) and COC Netherlands responded in absolute horror.

Jun 2017       
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On Sunday June 18, Kees van Twist - former Director of the Groninger Museum - will open the gay art route in Den Bosch, incorporating the exhibition “Roze Munitie” (Pink Ammunition) in Museum Het Kruithuis. This exhibition is part of the twenty-eighth Pink Saturday that will be held in Den Bosch this year.

Jun 2017       
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Legal recognition of gender equality is gaining a bigger foothold in Europe. Same-sex partners are getting more access to more and more rights in more and more European countries. This is evidenced by research by legal scientists from Leiden and French demographers. They have published a detailed data bank and a comparative analysis on the subject.

Jun 2017       
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Recently Soa Aids Nederland introduced Advies.chat. It is the first online STD test advisor that gives reliable advice on Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) test, whenever you need it.

Jun 2017       
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He’s funky and smiling, has just arrived in Amsterdam a few months ago and already presents a retrospective of his art and design in a splendid store that he turned into a pop-up gallery, in the Jordaan at Westerstraat 59-61.

May 2017       
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The Amsterdam VUmc Hospital is looking into the possibility of helping gay couples with surrogacy. Among gay couples, the interest for this is increasing, but as such it is not possible in the Netherlands still. Now, gay couples need to go abroad for an expensive and often uncertain process.

May 2017       
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In the new Dutch Lower House there are now seven openly LGBTI MPs. Eleven so-called rainbow candidates were also elected - candidates who had registered with COCs election website GayVote, indicating that they are committed to LHBTI emancipation.

May 2017       
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It is time again to get your rubber, leather, sports or other fetish outfits out of the closet for the Amsterdam Fetish Pride. The Fetish Pride runs from May 25 to May 29. This sixth edition includes events at The Cuckoo’s Nest, Club Church, Dirty Dicks, the Eagle Amsterdam, and The Web. Fetish stores Black Body, Mister B, RoB, and hairdresser Cuts & Curls will also do their bit in making this yet another successful Fetish Pride.

May 2017       
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The German government has approved the rehabilitation of men convicted of homosexual acts under section 175 of the Criminal Code in post-war Germany, as suggested in a bill by Justice Minister Heiko Maas (SPD). In Germany, homosexual acts were a punishable offence between May 15, 1871 and March 10, 1994.

May 2017       
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This year again on and around our Pride Monument, the Homomonument, the Second World War (1940-1945) will be commemorated on May 4 after two minutes of silence at 20:00.

May 2017       
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In 1993 the International Gay Monument The Hague was unveiled. The initiative for this monument to commemorate all gay men and lesbians in the world who are persecuted and oppressed and who died because of their sexual preference, was taken in 1985. More than a year later, on October 20th, 1986, a proposal for this monument was discussed and adopted by the The Hague city council.

May 2017       
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Sauna Nieuwezijds, Amsterdam’s popular gay sauna near Central Station, closes for the month of May to fully renovate. Although open for less than four years, there are structural problems to the building that need to be addressed.

Apr 2017       
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It is nearly that time of the year again. Half of Europe is under the spell of the Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev, starting May 10th. Will the sweet Dutch O’G3NE girls be heard in the midst of all that blood-curdling screeching? Meanwhile, Song Contest loving Amsterdam is getting ready for its very own version of this battle. For the fifteenth consecutive year, the EuroSongTravestival will be held on May 7 in the Winston Kingdom.

Apr 2017       
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In the Russian autonomous republic of Chechnya homosexuals are widely persecuted because of their sexual orientation, independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta reports. The information has been confirmed by Human Rights Watch. In Chechnya, at least one hundred people were arrested without grounds, and three people were reportedly killed since the beginning of the year.

Apr 2017       
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Bet van Beeren was a legendary landlady. In a leather coat she would tear across town on her motorbike, sometimes with a new fiancée. Café ’t Mandje was one of the first bars where gay men and lesbian women didn’t have to hide their sexual orientation. But Bet would not allow kissing in the bar.

Apr 2017       
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As of last March same-sex couples can get married in Finland. This means that marriage is now opened up for same-sex couples throughout Scandinavia. A bill to make marriage for same-sex couples possible was already adopted in November 2014 by the Finnish Parliament and signed by the President of Finland in February 2015.

Apr 2017       
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The Backdoor Teadance, having just celebrated its 2nd birthday edition, will finally be followed by the Teadance on 13th May. It’s third year will be initiated in club AKHNATON with the unique Backdoor feeling: happy, sexy and especially energetic!

Apr 2017       
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The City of North Miami unveiled a new sculpture installation on Saturday, March 4th, that was commissioned to “Celebrate the legacy of Miami-Dade County’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer champions and the historic milestones of their community,” said Scott Galvin, the North Miami Councilman who spearheaded this project.

Apr 2017       
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Homosexual men often feel a barrier in participating in team or contact sports such as football. This is revealed by a study on LGBTI's in sports by the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP), which was published last March 9.

Apr 2017       
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The Zeedijk, Amsterdam’s cosiest street, will again be the place to be on King’s Night and King’s Day, April 27. With a large stage, outside bars, and several live acts and DJs, the party is a guaranteed success. As always, this will be under the inspiring leadership of Coby van Dam.

Apr 2017       
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Over the last decade XXXLeather has become a household name in the Amsterdam leather and rubber fetish scene, and in 2013 XXXLeather introduced the Mister XXXLeather election. The first Misters XXXLeather were Charlie J. Rahinman, Arnaud Housenard, and Nick Dawson, who all three have put XXXL on the map, both nationally and internationally. More and more (young) leather and rubber men from abroad now know how to find their way to XXXL, so Mister XXXLeather 2017 was a vacancy that needed to be filled.

Apr 2017       
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The municipality of Tholen in the Zeeland province will dedicate itself to the advancement of social acceptance and safety of LGBTs, and in particular of LGBT youth. It is a remarkable step, as in recent years the municipality has been in the news because of its LGBT unfriendly policies.

Mar 2017       
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The story of the Wagner clan – with all their violations of conventional morals, intrigues, scandals, and power-struggles surrounding Bayreuth – has kept the public spellbound for over 150 years. The “Green Hill” and the festival held there annually since 1951 are regarded, by many, as the “Pantheon of the German People,” a national shrine and cultural asset of the highest order.

Mar 2017       
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The CDA party convention unanimously backed a proposal on the inclusion of an explicit prohibition of LGBTI discrimination in the Constitution. With this, a majority in parliament for such a ban is finally in sight. The COC has urged the CDA (Christen-Democratisch Appèl) to do so, and is extremely happy with the party’s decision.

Mar 2017       
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The annual invasion of Amsterdam by Bears is almost at hand! From March 2-6, the city will revolve around the Amsterdam Bear Weekend 2017, with as usual a diverse program.

Feb 2017       
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Last year, La Demence celebrated its twenty-seventh anniversary in Palais 12, a huge venue under the Atomium in Brussels. With 6,500 visitors from seventy-eight nationalities, an overwhelming indoor arena and great shows, La Demence made a huge impression.

Feb 2017       
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The United Nations General Assembly again gave its support to the independent LGBT human rights expert at the UN. A proposal by Burkina Faso to make the expert's work impossible was voted out. In cooperation with other organisations and governments, COC Netherlands has worked hard for this victory.

Feb 2017       
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News comes and goes, usually only the 'main' news-items are remembered, such as the Orlando shootings. But as the smaller news items usually bear as much sorrow and greef as for the people concerning it, below our yearly news overview, so we will not forget.

Feb 2017       
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The COC is positive about the first steps that were announced by the government in order to limit gender registration. COC Netherlands has been advocating this since November 2015. The interest groups call on the government to "quickly tackle this issue" and eventually abolish gender registration by the government.

Feb 2017       
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From Thursday, March 2, through Monday, March 6, the Amsterdam scene is in celebration of the Amsterdam Bear Weekend. Some years ago, this annual event was successfully launched by Michael Roks as Amsterdam Bear Pride. The event is aimed at “bears, cubs, muscle bears, daddies, chubbies, chasers, polarbears and everything in between,” as the organizers describe the potential visitors.

Feb 2017       
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After two successful years, the Tea Dance party is hipper than ever! In February 2015 the Backdoor returned to the capital after a radio silence of ten years. Again, the party is a household name in the gay and open-minded party scene. A packed venue, relaxing house music mixed with brilliant MCs and rousing dance performances, wonderful entertainment and beautiful people.

Jan 2017       
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A year ago Berlin’s Schwules Museum announced an overview of the collections. This self-reflection was interrupted because of a special exhibition but will now be re-installed. Of course, this re-installment will be novel. New art works within the exhibit will bring new perspectives and discussions. The first “special” is devoted to “Rock Hudson and the AIDS Crisis.”

Jan 2017       
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Transgender Netwerk Nederland (TNN) and COC Netherlands will start registering the problems transgender asylum encounter with care, housing, discrimination, and safety.

Jan 2017       
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Despite a decrease of people diagnosed with HIV, there is reason for concern. Nearly 50% of all new HIV cases is diagnosed too late. The Dutch HIV Association HVN is extremely worried. People who do not belong to the high-risk groups, such as heterosexual men and people over 45, are often treated too late.

Jan 2017       
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Corine van Dun (63) is 46th on the D66 candidate's list for next year's Lower House elections. Van Dun is President of Transgender Netwerk Nederland (TNN).

Dec 2016       
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Various municipalities organize information meetings in refugee centres to increase the acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT) among refugees. ‘It is important that municipalities think carefully about how to organize information for asylum seekers. Interventions may not work at all or even backfire. The group's attitude towards LGBTs then will become more negative instead of more positive.’

Dec 2016       
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Two youngsters who have founded a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) at their schools were nominated for an award. Costas Vermeer, pupil of secondary modern school Pieter Nieuwland College in Amsterdam was nominated by magazine 7Days for the Youngster of the Year Award.

Dec 2016       
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In September the Coming 7th edition of the European La Demence gay cruise offers you a unique itinerary from Lisbon to Madeira and the Canary islands, on board of the ship Monarch. With more then 2,000 queers on a ship, it's offering a mix of culture, relaxation and the best open air parties.

Dec 2016       
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Preventing HIV with the HIV prevention pill PrEP is something Dutch parties D66 and GroenLinks now also want. Both parties submitted a motion in parliament last November to compensate PrEP for people who run a high risk of contracting HIV as of next year.

Dec 2016       
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On Saturday, December 10, Eric Wiss will give a lecture about the controversial Dutch author Gerard Reve (1923–2006) and Catholicism with the title “U heb ik lief”. In the lecture, he will try to find answers to questions such as: Which factors played a part in Gerard Reve’s conversion to Catholicism, and which people influenced him in this decision.

Dec 2016       
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The national football associations of Belgium, England, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Northern-Ireland, Scotland and Turkey, and the UEFA and FARE were present at The European Diversity Statement event in the Amsterdam ArenA last month.

Dec 2016       
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On December 8 and December 22 an extraordinary event will be presented at Club Church. Daring, extravagant, satiric, irreverent, edgy, independent, politically incorrect, astonishing and funny... concepts that somehow define Cabaret Bizarro’s proposal for a very special night out on Thursday, before the weekend awakes.

Dec 2016       
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The only thing even more extravagant than his pictures is Robert Mapplethorpe’s (1946–1989) own life. The American was obsessed about becoming famous, and he let nothing stand in his way. Sex was his other obsession, and even in this he was limitless and shameless, both in his own experience of it as his explicit pictures. In the documentary Mapplethorpe - Look at the pictures is it easy to see why his work was so controversial and why the charismatic Mapplethorpe was so loved by many.

Nov 2016       
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For the second time, Gallery MooiMan male-art published the only tear-off calendar in the world with the male as the central theme. What began last year as a continuation of a long tradition of calendars (“Flikkeragenda” and “Homogenda”) has attained the character of a collectable. Especially since in 2016, the calendar was included in two museum collections, one in Berlin and one in New York City.

Nov 2016       
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There have been various exhibitions on Klaus Mann (1906-1949), the enfant terrible of the literary Mann family, exploring his role as a prominent representative of gay culture and literature in the early twentieth century.

Nov 2016       
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Throughout the Netherlands, gay bars, restaurants and discos are closing their doors. In our most Southern province Limburg, this is no different. It’s just how the cookie crumbles. Where in the recent past, there still was plenty to choose from, now one really has to look and still it will be difficult to find them.

Nov 2016       
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Botswana expelled an American hate preacher and made him persona non grata after he called on the government to kill all homosexuals in Botswana in a local radio show. The organisation LeGaBiBo played an important part in the deportation.

Nov 2016       
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A report by a Russian and Ukrainian human rights organizations reveals that since the beginning of the Crimean Crisis in 2014, the situation for LGBTs in the Crimean and Eastern Ukraine has deteriorated.

Nov 2016       
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