Hundreds of thousands of spectators are expected to watch Saturday’s Gay Pride parade through Amsterdam’s canals. Last year some half a million crowded into the city centre to observe the spectacle which attracts supporters from around the world.
But not everone is happy with the event. Two-thirds of young people feel the extravaganza gives a false image of homosexuality and does not promote gay emancipation, according to a survey by the current affairs tv programme Een Vandaag earlier this week, reports Trouw.
Some 40% of the 1,600 heterosexual and 400 homosexual young people questioned said the parade is an ’embarrassment’. But almost 90% said they would not have a problem if their boss or teacher was gay.
Meanwhile, Amsterdam’s shops, hotels and cafes are looking forward to higher turnovers throughout the weekend. Figures from the Amsterdam tourist bureau (ATCB) say gay tourists spend 30% more than other categories of visitors to the city.
The boat parade, which is being held for the 14th time, is the highlight of the Gay Pride activities which run until Sunday. This year’s event will include soldiers in uniform and Christian Democrat (CDA) politicians for the first time.
As last year, Labour minister Plasterk, who is responsible for the government’s policies on gay emancipation, will take part again this year.
And the NRC reports that 30 well-known sports personalities – including footballers Pierre van Hooijdonk and Aaron Winter and former hockey player Minke Booij – will also sail in the parade on Saturday.
Meanwhile Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen is to conduct the marriage of five homosexual and lesbian American-Dutch couples during the parade as a signal to the US, the paper says.
For the full programme of Gay Pride activities, click here.
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