Among the gay cafes, sports clubs, hotels, bars, activist organizations and saunas in this beautiful ‘gay capitol of Europe’, where same-sex love is fully acknowledged and legalized, is a touching memorial that acknowledges the persecution that lesbigays faced over the centuries.
The Netherlands is a popular destination for gay tourism especially Amsterdam where an LGBT gay pride festival occurs in mid-August. In 1973 Dutch mental health institutions stopped treating homosexuality as an illness and the military lifted its ban on homosexuals. . A recent 2006 European Union member poll showed the Dutch to be the strongest supporters of same-sex marriage at 82%.
For those of us who had missing fathers when we were young, the ‘lost chord’ remains. As times have moved into a new age of family-making there are young boys and girls who are blessed to have two fathers or two moms. Last year a video came across the Net from Holland of a twelve year-old guy singing ‘Two Fathers’ at a youth concert, surrounded by hundreds of other kids who joined in the song of praise for his two dads.
The Gay Games were hosted by Amsterdam in 1998. There were more than 25 sports and 1500 athletes. The opening and closing ceremonies were held in the local stadium. Venues for the sporting events were spread out across the city and suburbs. The photos here are of the ceremonies, rowing and swimming. The swimming and diving were held in the picturesque city of Amersfoort, a twenty minute train ride south of Amsterdam.
(Also see the Gay Holland story)
Amsterdam is the capital and largest city of the Netherlands with a population of 750,000. It is not the seat of government (in The Hague) which is one of the most liberal in the world. Marijuana and prostitution are both legal here. The city is one of the gay capitals of Europe with marriage rights
Amsterdam is home to one of Europe’s largest annual Gay Pride parades. It is the only city in the world to route the parade on a canal, which is lined with thousands of spectators– from grandmothers to small children. It is a visual feast for all. In 1998 the parade was held in conjuction with
With over 130,000 citizens Amersfoort is one of the 20 largest cities of the Netherlands.
It is a versatile city with a variety of architecture, history, art, culture and nature.
In 1998 it was host to the swimming events of the the Gay Games
where over a thousand swimmers competed for medals in over 100 racing events.
(Not surprising, the swimming pool, Sportfondsenbad, has an annual nudist day in March.)
Photos #1-11 are of Amersfoort . For swimming photos see the GayGames gallery.