amsterdam pride hosted the 2016 edition of europride with it’s theme ‘join’ … and everyone did. for two weeks the clebrations pervaded the city with events focussing on more than just the traditional glbt and sexuality issues but rather on gender identity and the freedom to be who you are. throughout the two week program exhibitions, workshops, get-togethers and parties were spreading the love. for many reasons the city of amsterdam succeeds admirably in this. from institutions to landmarks, roadsigns and even construction cranes proudly wave the rainbow flag. this is beyond a festival, it is an awareness exercise in which parties, private, public, corporate and conscious partake in the spirit of tolerance.
the progression of ‘gay pride’ to ‘pride’ and its message of inclusivity is what stands out most to me. naturally there are those that mourn the more exclusive gay prides of the past and granted, without them we would not have such reason to celebrate today, but it is also time to embrace the fact that everyone can be anything and the acceptance of diversity is surely what we should fight for now.
so as the rainbow curtain falls over the festivities, i’m also not naive enough to believe we can completely irradicate prejudice or bias, afterall, are we not preaching a tolerance of all viewpoints? we all know that the stifling atmosphere of political correctness can sometimes be just as toxic.