Friday, June 29, 2018


Every year a different town in Holland is chosen for the national last-weekend-in-June Gay Pride parade -- named Roze Zaterdag (Pink Saturday).  This year:  Gouda!  (We pronouce the name of the town and its cheese completely wrong in English.)  Besides Roze Zaterdag, there is a major Gay Pride hoo-hah in Amsterdam every August which is a boat parade through the canals.  I've never seen it.  Can't figure out why.  Maybe it became big after I moved away.

My friends American Christopher and Peter, who live in Rotterdam, always attend Gay Pride in whatever town it's in.  They  invited me to meet them and their houseguest Beverly there.  I'd never been to Gouda.  It was a bit of a hassle to get there because the train tracks were being fixed, so I had to take a train AND a bus.  Got off the bus at the wrong place, either because the bus driver couldn't understand MY Dutch or I couldn't understand HER Dutch.  Probably both.  Much as I bemoan the intrusion of smart phones into our lives, I probably would have never found my friends if we both didn't have one.

It was a beautiful sunny day -- quite a treasure in Holland any time of the year.  Gouda is a lovely
 city of 70,000.   It was a BIG DEAL to the Goudenaars (that's what they call themselves) to be hosting a national event, and the town was decked out.

Waiting for my friends to find me, I encountered this adorable couple.
Actually a trio.  That is a PROUD pup!  But she could have done a bit more work on her costume.

And we marched -- not such a long time through such a small city.  I must admit, it was a great treat to be in a Gay Pride event that wasn't as massive as San Francisco's.
The pink t-shirts with the star are the Socialist Party. 
The front says "Rode voor Roze" -- Red for Pink.

It was easy for the four of us to stick together.  Peter's yellow shirt was a great help.
C&P have been together for a loong time.  Their energy toward each other
is so affectionate and playful.  Great to be around them.
Beverly is Peter's cousin from California.  I cannot believe I don't have a photo of her talking to someone.  This woman is a networker extraordinaire.  And it comes from her heart.  She is genuinely interested in people and passionately devoted to helping women, who are doing any kind of business or cultural work in the world, connect with each other.    We got luscious vegan smoothies at a little shop owned by a young woman.....

  Beverly got her business card, so that she could recommend Miss Nice Banana to other travelers.  You go, Beverly!  We need more women like you.  
Beautiful Dutch Dykes
"Meer Dan Gewents" = "More than Wished For." 
The contingent of gay parents with their children.
More Gay Parents (and coincidently beautiful Dutch dykes)

Some Dutch take the pinkness of this day VERY seriously!

"Autism is also Diversity" & a protest against Chechnya Persecution.  
This Gay Pride march was a very big tent with room for everyone.  I love that about us.

A happy, well-adjusted child of gay parents.

A Drag Queen or two... or Three....

An old man trudged grimly through the happy crowd.  
He wasn't going to let any damn Pink Saturday keep him from doing his shopping.

Our short parade ended at the town square with its magnificent City Hall, built in 1450.
When this was built, it was a powerful statement of the ascendance of secular political power over religion.  This was quite an advance over the Catholic Church making decisions. 

Then we explored the booths....
One of the few booths focused on lesbians -- this one for women of color.  If you're noticing that there are more men than women in this blog -- it's true.  There were many dykes in the crowd, but not so many women-oriented booths or women at booths that were just generally gay-oriented.  

But the Dutch army had a booth, and there WAS a nice lady soldier there.....
The bumper sticker reads "Homosexuality and Martial Power."  Not a frequently seen bumper sticker in my own country.

AND the gay tax collectors had a booth!
Can you imagine the IRS having a booth at a Gay Pride parade?  Not yet!  

Ah, here's Beverly chatting with someone --  a tax collector.  She got his phone number in case she had trouble getting her VAT taxes returned at the airport.  

Don't know what this building across from the City Hall is.  It's just so damn beautiful.

And we spent the rest of the day exploring Gouda.  Perhaps that'll be another blog.

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