Ignace van Swieten First openly gay Dutch sportsman

Ignace van Swieten First openly gay Dutch sportsman

Ignace van Swieten was the first openly gay Dutch sportsman, and that within the very homophobic soccer sports world. Not very tall, cute, with good manners, eloquent, elegant, he stood out in any case. Being gay just just added to it. He was born in 1943 in a POW camp in Indonesia, came with his parents to The Netherlands and became a probation worker. In his spare time he was a soccer referee and a…

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Floris Michiels van Kessenich

Floris Michiels van Kessenich

When you look at the short life of Floris Michiels van Kessenich (1957 – 1991) you may wonder how he was able to do all the things he did in such a short time. He was a fighter for gay rights, who had to overcome a privileged back ground to be able to love who he wanted to love. When he was hit by Aids, he kept on fighting until the disease with the little…

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Jacob Schorer

Jacob Schorer

Jacob Schorer (1866-1957) was a lawyer and founder of the first Dutch committee (N.W.H.K.) aimed at acceptance of homosexuality. In 1911 the Dutch government introduced clause 248Bis (similar to clause 28 in the UK), which was very much a clause to prosecute and discriminate homosexuals. One year later Jacob Schorer founded the N.H.W.K. (following the example of Magnus Hirshfeld) and brought together a small group of people, working hard to change the common view about…

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Nico Engelschman driving force behind equal rights for gays and lesbians

Nico Engelschman driving force behind equal rights for gays and lesbians

Nico Engelschman (1913-1988, also known as Bob Angelo) was an actor, founder of ‘Levensrecht’ (a magazine for gay men) in 1939. He was also member of the Dutch resistance, founder and nearly 20 years chairman of the Dutch COC, today’s Dutch organization advocating the rights of lesbian women, gay men, bisexuals and transgenders. Niek Engelschman was one of the first to refer to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the basis of equal rights…

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Bet van Beeren founder of bar 't Mandje

Bet van Beeren founder of bar 't Mandje

In 1927 Bet van Beeren (1902-1967) opened ’t Mandje, a bar located on the Zeedijk in Amsterdam. The bar was famous for many reasons: because of Bet and who she was, for the (what we would call) down-to-earth mentality and of course for its inclusiveness. The bar was open to everybody: rich, poor, men, women, gay, lesbian, straight. People were allowed to dance in the bar on certain occasions, regardless gender or sexual preference. Bet…

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