On Sunday the 12th of February a party kicked of the preparations of the Amsterdam Pride 2017. It was an event packed with announcements. The theme of this years’ Pride is ‘This is My Pride’. Announced as a ‘back to basics’ theme focusing on each participants personal pride. The most anticipated part of the event was the announcement of the boats who had won a place in this years’ Canal Parade. Who is in and who is out, but above all: what interesting boats would be in the Parade. And last but not least: the Pride ambassadors were announced.
Canal Parade more political this year
Each year organizations have to apply to be able to participate in the Canal Parade, the world-famous boat parade during Amsterdam Pride. There are always more applicants than there are places in the parade (there is a maximum of 80 boats). So with a mix of jury and lottery system the organization award the places.
This year the parade participants entered there applications with a number of serious and often political proposals for their boats. Zamaneh Media (a Persian language media organization based in Amsterdam) participates this year with a boat focusing on the persecution of LGBTQ people in Iran. They will be showing gallows on their boat in reference of the young LGBTQ people being put to death in Iran by being hanged.
An organization providing psychological services and trainings will participate this year with a boat focusing on the high number of suicides among LGBTQ people. In the Netherlands the rate of suicide is about four and a half times higher than compared with straight people. These statistics are mirrored in many other countries. With this boat they hope to break the taboo about this subject.
Other boats participating this year will be a boat by and for bisexuals, several boats with an anti-Donald Trump message and a refugee boat. Here is a full list of the participants.
A wide variety of ambassadors
Every year the Amsterdam Pride has a number of ambassadors. They represent the Amsterdam Pride and the theme of the pride. At several events before and during the pride these ambassadors will speak about the Amsterdam Pride. Because the theme this year is ‘This is my Pride’ the organization chose a large number of ambassadors, to represent the many aspects of the LGBTQ community. The ambassadors are:
- The Brothers Grimm, aka Robert Anthony and Thom Rijpstra, are well-known figures of the Amsterdam Pride and the Amsterdam gay community at large. In their often spectacular and glamorous outfits they light up parties and events. In that way they represents the birds of paradise of Amsterdam.
- Ana Paula Lima, is an activist representing the transgenders.
- Sjors van der Panne, a Dutch singer who shot to fame in the tv show The Voice of Holland.
- Souad Boumedien, a police officer of Moroccan origin. As an ambassador of the Amsterdam Pride she wants to build alliances between different communities and fight exclusion.
- Niki Today, Miss Travesty Holland 2016;
- Shary-An Nivillac, is also a former participant from The Voice of Holland with a noticeable career after that show.
Below you can see a short reportage of the Amsterdam Pride kick off event.
Amsterdam Pride is this year from July 29nd till August 6th. The Canal Parade is on Saturday August 5th.