ThesisPDF Available

"Shell's white gay buttocks" - An insight into the complexity around the Pride Amsterdam Canal Parade.



NOS and Het Parool published articles in March 2022 on the klangboard-discussions between the Amsterdam LGBTQ+ community and the municipality about the Amsterdam Pride festival. This was right in the thick of my investigation. It was evident to the public at that point that there were frictions and tensions inside the community surrounding the Canal Parade. Pride Amsterdam has been organizing the Amsterdam Pride festival for eight years, and this year marks the 27th iteration of Pride in Amsterdam. What began in 1996 as a promotion drive by Amsterdam's homosexual HORECA owners to attract tourists, promote the 1998 Gay Olympics, and honor Dutch tolerance has developed into one of Amsterdam's biggest annual festivities. The Canal Parade is famous all over the world, putting the Netherlands and Amsterdam on the map for LGBTQ+ people. The Canal Parade is still relevant because discrimination and homophobia exist even in the Netherlands. This research wants to look deeper into the underlying layers accompanying the Amsterdam Rainbow community, the Canal Parade and its influence on queer activism in the Netherlands today. The Amsterdam Rainbow community isn't truly a community according to some participants, but there is experienced pressure to be one from the outside. Amsterdam is a majority-minority city, which means that no cultural group accounts for more than half of the population. With such diversity, Amsterdam's rainbow community has different demands today than it did many years ago. Conflicts within the community revolve around hegemonic masculinity, intersectionality about gender, color, sexual orientation, religion, and cultural ancestry, and the generational divide over identity and queer politics. The municipality serves as the event's policy developer, establishing the ground rules for the Canal Parade. These rules have had a direct impact on the cost increases that the Canal Parade has faced over the last ten years, forcing Pride Amsterdam to engage closely with sponsors. This has resulted in the event becoming increasingly commercialized and more community people protesting. The perception of Pink washing and rainbow capitalism were identified as issues during the conversations with participants. Commercialization is also used to explain the event's mainstreaming, which attracts tourists and heteronormative partygoers who occupy queer spaces and reproduce general society's power dynamics towards the Canal Parade population. All of this is viewed negatively by members of the community. Participants that stand on the boats have a distinct perspective on the activism that participation may offer, as well as what it means for businesses to associate their name with an event like the Canal Parade. All of these opinions are captured using a spectrum for participants to position themselves on regarding their perception of the contemporary Canal Parade. The event should become more diverse and inclusive to re-unite the Amsterdam Rainbow Community and improve the sense of belonging at the Canal Parade. As the umbrella organization for the Pride Week, Pride Amsterdam is the key player in this. To accomplish this, the organization should take a step back and examine its role in the tension field around the lack of collaboration. The lack of hearing and intrinsic motivation to be understood by Pride Amsterdam have been reported by several groups. It has been seen by participants that the organization takes steps to react to critiques and replies with change, but there is a greater need for proactivity. The Pride Walk should play a larger role during Pride Week since it answers better to the demand for simple access for all community members as well as the ability to march and protest. The Canal Parade has its strength in the party, which brings Amsterdam to international attention and gives hope to LGBTQ+ members who are still oppressed. The Canal Parade has a place in modern Amsterdam and its rainbow community, but changes should be made to meet the demands of 2022, which call for an adapted agenda of activism paired with ethical business.
Shell’s white gay buttocks”
An insight into the complexity around the Pride
Amsterdam Canal Parade.
Iline Ceelen
Master in Sociology
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Student number: 2587901
Email: /
Datum: 24th of June 2022
Supervisor Prof. Dr. Lorraine Nencel
2nd reader Dr. Inge Melchior
Word Count 19’624
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Table of contents
Acknowledgment 4
Abbreviations 5
Executive Summary 6
1. Introduction 8
1.1 Around Stonewall Inn 8
1.2 The Dutch Context 10
1.3 Scientific and Social Relevance 13
2. Theory 14
2.1 Prides, the event to come together and be seen 14
2.2 Invisible power structures of a white male-dominated heteronormative world 15
2.3 Identity Politics 17
2.4. The queer movement 18
2.5 The brand “gay” 20
3. Methodology 21
3.1 Contacts with participants 21
3.2 Interview styles and coding process 23
3.3 Visual Material 24
3.4 Bias, limitations and ethical dilemma 27
4. Results 29
4.1 The Parade and its goals 29
4.1.1 A generational conflict 31
4.2 The discourses around the spectrum 32
4.2.1 The need for ethical commercialization 35
4.2.2 What the Networks do 37
4.2.3 The other meaning of commercialization 39
4.2.4 Occupation of queer spaces 39
4.2.5 The strength of the party 41
4.3 The micro-level effect of the Canal Parade 42
4.3.1 The guard and the board member 42
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4.3.2 The cultural connection 44
4.3.3 The technicians 45
4.3.4 The world on a boat 46
4.4 The fields of tension 47
4.4.1 The management and leadership of Pride Amsterdam 48
4.4.2 Tension between the system and the public space 49
4.4.3 Accessibility 51
4.4.4 The perceived infiltration of the heteronormative power dynamics 53
4.4.5 The absence of community and the different fights to fight 54
5. Discussion and Conclusion 57
6. Bibliography 59
7. Annexes 64
Annex 1 - Stakeholder review 64
Annex 2 - List of anonymized participants 65
Annex 3 - Individual Spectrum 69
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As a researcher, I was guided by the research questions to strive for objectivity. I was conscious of
my personal bias as a proud allegiance to Dutch tolerance and liberty in relation to the Canal Parade.
It was a pleasure to do this research and speak with everyone involved.
I thank my partner and my parents for supporting me in any direction I want to develop.
A very warm and special thank goes to Lorraine, my supervisor, who has supported me with
guidance and wisdom in the low and high moments of this Thesis process.
My thank goes to Pride Amsterdam for initiating the research idea, for helping me and for
welcoming me into their space and team.
To all the participants my gratitude for your time and openness to talk to me, share your opinions
and experiences, and for your trust. It was a pleasure to meet you all.
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BIPoC Black, Indigenous, and People of Color
BP Boat Participants
BLM Black Lives Matter
Com Commercial Partners
COC Cultuur en Ontspanningscentrum
CP Canal Parade
ILGA International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association
LGBT Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans
LGBTQ+ Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, and more
NOS Nederlandse Omroep Stichting
NSM New Social Movement
NL The Netherlands
PP Pride Parade
QW Queer and Lesbian Women
RC Rainbow Community
USA United States of America
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Executive summary
NOS and Het Parool published articles in March 2022 on the klangboard-discussions between the
Amsterdam LGBTQ+ community and the municipality about the Amsterdam Pride festival. This was
right in the thick of my investigation. It was evident to the public at that point that there were
frictions and tensions inside the community surrounding the Canal Parade. Pride Amsterdam has
been organizing the Amsterdam Pride festival for eight years, and this year marks the 27th iteration
of Pride in Amsterdam. What began in 1996 as a promotion drive by Amsterdam's homosexual
HORECA owners to attract tourists, promote the 1998 Gay Olympics, and honor Dutch tolerance has
developed into one of Amsterdam's biggest annual festivities. The Canal Parade is famous all over
the world, putting the Netherlands and Amsterdam on the map for LGBTQ+ people. The Canal
Parade is still relevant because discrimination and homophobia exist even in the Netherlands.
This research wants to look deeper into the underlying layers accompanying the Amsterdam
Rainbow community, the Canal Parade and its influence on queer activism in the Netherlands today.
The Amsterdam Rainbow community isn't truly a community according to some participants,
but there is experienced pressure to be one from the outside. Amsterdam is a majority-minority city,
which means that no cultural group accounts for more than half of the population. With such
diversity, Amsterdam's rainbow community has different demands today than it did many years ago.
Conflicts within the community revolve around hegemonic masculinity, intersectionality about
gender, color, sexual orientation, religion, and cultural ancestry, and the generational divide over
identity and queer politics. The municipality serves as the event's policy developer, establishing the
ground rules for the Canal Parade. These rules have had a direct impact on the cost increases that
the Canal Parade has faced over the last ten years, forcing Pride Amsterdam to engage closely with
sponsors. This has resulted in the event becoming increasingly commercialized and more community
people protesting. The perception of Pink washing and rainbow capitalism were identified as issues
during the conversations with participants. Commercialization is also used to explain the event's
mainstreaming, which attracts tourists and heteronormative partygoers who occupy queer spaces
and reproduce general society's power dynamics towards the Canal Parade population. All of this is
viewed negatively by members of the community. Participants that stand on the boats have a
distinct perspective on the activism that participation may offer, as well as what it means for
businesses to associate their name with an event like the Canal Parade. All of these opinions are
captured using a spectrum for participants to position themselves on regarding their perception of
the contemporary Canal Parade.
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The event should become more diverse and inclusive to re-unite the Amsterdam
Rainbow Community and improve the sense of belonging at the Canal Parade. As the umbrella
organization for the Pride Week, Pride Amsterdam is the key player in this. To accomplish this, the
organization should take a step back and examine its role in the tension field around the lack of
collaboration. The lack of hearing and intrinsic motivation to be understood by Pride Amsterdam
have been reported by several groups. It has been seen by participants that the organization takes
steps to react to critiques and replies with change, but there is a greater need for proactivity. The
Pride Walk should play a larger role during Pride Week since it answers better to the demand for
simple access for all community members as well as the ability to march and protest. The Canal
Parade has its strength in the party, which brings Amsterdam to international attention and gives
hope to LGBTQ+ members who are still oppressed. The Canal Parade has a place in modern
Amsterdam and its rainbow community, but changes should be made to meet the demands of 2022,
which call for an adapted agenda of activism paired with ethical business.
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1, Introduction
1.1 Around Stonewall Inn
In 1969, the Stonewall Inn riots in New York sparked the well-known worldwide movement for
lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals to stand up for themselves (Pilkington,
2019). This moment is a significant beginning point for analyzing Pride Amsterdam's past and future
accomplishments. Surprisingly, there is no major correlation between the Stonewall Inn riots which
sparked the global LGBT liberation movement, and the Amsterdam Canal Parade (CP). The CP
emerged in 1996 as a celebration organized by local gay hospitality business owners to place
Amsterdam at the top of the international gay-friendly city map (Nwanazia, 2022; Pride Amsterdam,
2021b). The CP gained prominence and a permanent spot-on Amsterdam's annual event schedule
over time. It is the most well-known event of the Pride Amsterdam festival week and draws more
than 500,000 attendees (Statista, 2022). Numerous arguments and perspectives around the event
illustrate the diversity of Amsterdam's rainbow community (RC) (Meershoek & Roele, 2022; NOS,
2022; van den Heuvel, 2022). This study examines the event's associated problems and discourses
in greater depth. But let's begin from the beginning.
LGBT individuals were criminalized in some parts
of the world prior to the Stonewall Inn riots, seen
on this map from 1790 (United Nations, 2020). It
was known at that time, that the red countries
had criminalized same-sex relationships.
Regarding same-sex relationships, there was no
recognized regulation in any of the grey nations
and the blue colors were countries with no
criminalizing laws for LGBT members.
Map 1 United Nations (2022). Criminalization of same
sex relations in 1790
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A shift occurred in the years up to 1968, one
year before the Stonewall riots depicted on the
following map. The visible shift from gray to red
indicates the increase in nations that
criminalized same-sex relationships. But also,
before 1968, a number of Latin American,
European, and Asian nations had decriminalized
same-sex relationships and turned blue. The
United States of America (USA) was not among
them, leading to the Stonewall Inn riots the
following year (United Nations, 2020).
Map 2 United Nations (2022). Criminalization of
same sex relations 1968
Individual narratives provide insight into how community members endured these oppressive times.
Special places were created for LHBT members to go to. They hid at homosexual bars and clubs,
where they could be themselves without fear of prejudice and stigma (B. Morris, 2009). The
Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street is one of these bars (, 2021; L. Morris, 2020). In June
1969, police officers entered the club and arrested thirteen individuals for breaching the law about
gender-appropriate clothing. This raid resulted in a violent riot that led to the burning of the
Stonewall Inn. Firefighters extinguished the blaze, but Stonewall Inn guests, neighbors, and others
protested against police supremacy for the next five days (, 2021; L. Morris, 2020). The
following year, a protest march from Stonewall Inn to Central Park via Christopher Street was known
as "Christopher Street Liberation Day" and is regarded as the first Pride Parade (PP), paving the way
for other cities to hold their own "Christopher Street Day" or Pride event (, 2021; L.
Morris, 2020; Pilkington, 2019). This event was not the beginning of the fights for LGBT rights, but it
was a pivotal milestone in the evolution of PPs around the world and the message they want to
convey LGBT individuals take over the public places on the streets, unite, and are seen (Amnesty
International, 2015). According to the International Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex
Association (ILGA), there are still 69 nations where same-sex relationships are criminalized in one
way or the other in 2020 shown on the following map (Paletta, 2020; Reality Check Team, 2021)
(BBC, 2021. ILGA 2020) This makes Pride Parades still necessary to protest phobic policies (Reality
Check Team, 2021).
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Map 3 ILGA (2020). Sexual Orientation Laws in the world.
Studies from the Williams Institute from 2011 indicate that roughly 3.8% of the studied
population identifies as LGBT (School of Law Williams Institute, 2011). The Q was added in the 1980s
and stands for queer. It is used to capture the complexity and fluidity of gender and sexuality and to
include a wider variety of identities, represented by the + (English Heritage, n.d.). To give a sense of
the volume of the people who are targeted by anti-LGBTQ+ laws, an estimated 30 million persons
globally cannot freely move without fear of legal prosecution in some nations (School of Law
Williams Institute, 2011).
1.2 The Dutch Context
To return to the relevance of this to the Dutch rainbow movement. In 2018, the Dutch RC has
between 680,000 and 1,000,000 members out of a total population of 17 million (Government of the
Netherlands, 2018). 40 percent of LGBTQ+ respondents to EenVandaag's 2021 survey report having
encountered unpleasant behavior based on their sexual orientation, and 60 percent change their
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behavior in public out of fear of negative reactions (Kester & Kamphuis, 2021). This suggests that
between 340'000 and 500,000 people in a tolerant nation like the Netherlands (NL) do not feel free
to be themselves due to their sexual orientation. This is an issue for a nation that aspires to be an
inclusive democracy, as the Dutch government will proclaim in the coming PP: "Inclusive Societies
require inclusive Governments" (Pride Amsterdam internal document, 2022). NL desires to be a
nation where everyone can be themselves without fear of discrimination (Segerink et al., 2013). And
rightfully so, the Dutch have a long history of fighting for equal rights for the RC. Since 1946, the
Cultuur en Onstpannings Centrum (COC) has been the world's oldest organization working for equal
rights on behalf of LGBTQ+ individuals (COC International, 2022; Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2021). In
2001, NL became the first nation in the world to legalize same-sex marriage and adoptions
(Government of the Netherlands, 2018). Some members of the Dutch LGBTQ+ community believe
that the "war" for equality ended in 2001 with the legalization of same-sex marriage, given NL's
international reputation for being "gay-friendly and accepting." Nonetheless, there is still
considerable work to be done to achieve equality for Dutch LGBTQ+ individuals (de Wit, 2018;
Kester & Kamphuis, 2021).
The Amsterdam CP originated from a desire to honor tolerance and at its commencement, was
predominantly commercial in nature. To promote homosexual enterprises and make Amsterdam
Europe's gay capital (Nwanazia, 2022; Pride Amsterdam, 2021b; van der Waal & van der
Heyden, 2019). As we will see below, it is the commercial nature of the CP which is one of the
contributing factors to present day debates concerning the CP’s inclusivity (NewsBeezer, 2021).
Amsterdam's Pride week has expanded into a nine-day festival with the CP as its most well-
known event, which was added to the 2019 list of intangible cultural heritage (Pride Amsterdam,
2022). Around half a million people from all over the world come to participate (Statista, 2022). On
80 boats, 7400 diverse individuals celebrate being the RC (Pride Amsterdam internal document,
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Graph 1. Pride Amsterdam (2022). Division of sexual identifications of boat participants.
Despite the diversity in the individuals sexual orientation participating, the CP has been said in
numerous media reports to target mainly white gay men and because of its commercial nature lacks
the elements for it to be considered activism (Meershoek & Roele, 2022; NewsBeezer, 2021;
NOS, 2022, Pride Amsterdam internal document, 2022).
As the above suggests, the CP is complex and multilayered, filled with tensions regarding its
objectives, its ability to include and several factors. Hence, this study aims to unravel the complexity
in order to acquire more knowledge concerning the significance of the CP using the following
research question:
Where do LGBTQ+ members, Canal Parade participants and commercial partners position
the Canal Parade on a political/commercial spectrum, and how do these positionings reflect
a relationship between the Canal Parade and Queer activism?
What tensions and alignments can be made visible between the different groups,
related to their positioning?
What are the discourses around the CP and how are they used and reproduced?
What observable effects does the CP have on commercial partners and CP
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1.3 Scientific and Social relevance
Pride celebrations are still required necessary in NL due to the continuous unfairness and
discrimination against the RC (Heldberg, 2022). The Amsterdam CP is renowned nationally and
internationally (I Amsterdam, 2022). Moreover, publications dated March 2022 have raised concerns
on the divide within the Amsterdam RC and the demand to annul the CP by members of the RC
(Meershoek & Roele, 2022; NOS, 2022; van den Heuvel, 2022). The municipality of Amsterdam
is developing a new Pride Policy this year and has held discussions with the RC. The Nederlandse
omroep stichting (NOS) article from March 2022 states that something must change (NOS, 2022).
According to the paper, the growth in white straight party guests makes the event hazardous for
queer organizations, and the Pride Amsterdam foundation has too much power. It is essential for the
RC and the Dutch Pride movement to strengthen the event's inclusiveness (NOS, 2022). With new
insights into the various areas of conflict, the foundation, the municipality, and the RC may take
efforts to unify and enhance collaboration in the Amsterdam community.
The CP has previously been the focus of study about diversity and inclusion (Adelerhof et al., 2020;
Leonte et al., 2020; van Dijk et al., 2020). At the event, not all LGBTQ+ groups feel represented.
However, studies that investigate how these cultural events are portrayed by the RC ignore the
connection between their greater relevance and action. Observable gaps in knowledge exist
concerning the relationship between cultural events such as these and contemporary queer
activism. More specific, the shift from identity politics towards queer activism in the Dutch context.
This lack of knowledge influences the comprehension of existing inequality and discrimination within
the Amsterdam RC. Therefore, to address the contemporary tensions evolving around the CP, this
study will research the significance of the CP from different actors’ perspectives: lesbian and queer
women, commercial partners and parade participating companies and organizations.
The title of this study refers to: "Shell" represents the commercialization-criticism from the LGBTQ+
community, "white gay buttocks" represents the critique from other groups that the CP is
dominated by gay white men and does not reflect the diversity of the community (NewsBeezer,
2021). Consequently, the purpose of this qualitative research is to determine the extent to which the
CP is perceived as a political or commercial event, on a visual (rainbow) spectrum, by the three
different groups of actors participating in the event, in order to provide insight for activists and
organizations to resolve potential tensions, improve the CP’s concept, work towards better inclusion
and reduction of discrimination.
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To facilitate comprehension of the presentation of the data, the theoretical framework covers key
themes about queer activism, heteronormativity and hegemonic masculinity, identity politics, and
the role cultural events have on identity expression. Following that, the methodology section
describes the process of participant selection and data collection procedures. In the discussion and
conclusion, input on the research questions will be referenced and recommendations will be given.
2, Theoretical frame
2.1 Prides, the event to come together and be seen
PPs are held in various places throughout the world (Amnesty International, 2015). There are no
words to adequately express the global significance of PP. They are multi-layered and intricate which
will be made clear in the result section. Some people use them to commemorate their freedom to
be themselves and express their identities. They are used to disseminate political comments and
provide a platform for activism to combat homophobic laws in nations where LGBTQ+ individuals are
not legally recognized. In certain nations, PP is more concerned with oppression and sexual violence
than in others, like as NL, where it is widely regarded as a celebration (NOS, 2022).
Since ancient times, cultural activities have been utilized to convey identity and affiliation.
Language, Beliefs, Values, and other traditions shape identity. These can be conveyed through
dance, music, and clothing, as well as cultural events such as festivals (LifeandWork, 2021). There are
three levels of identity: the personal identity is the personal self and how an individual gives
significance to him- or herself in comparison to others (Jaeger & Mykletun, 2013). In social
identity, the question "who am I in this group" is the extended self. Social identity provides a sense
of belonging to the surrounding community. The third identity is the collective identity that provides
societies with a sense of "we-ness." Collective identity is required for social movements to mobilize
and take action as observed in PPs (Jaeger & Mykletun, 2013; Snow & Corrigall-Brown, 2015).
According to Jaeger and Mykletun (2013), festivals and festive activities serve to express belonging
and identity. In addition, they demonstrated that cultural events promote cohesion and the
prominence of places and organizations associated with the event. All those aspects stand at the
core of Pride events globally. Enguix (2009) noted how the visible expressionism of the Madrid Pride
generates space and identity. PPs have facilitated the transition from community to society.
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LGBTQ+ emancipation has integrated the community into society, and the Parades represent this
transformation and empowerment via social mobilization. Pride enables the transformation of
heteronormative environments into queer spaces and temporarily claims public space (Enguix,
2009). They are about visibility and exemplify social mobilization as a means of expressing one's
individuality. For many respondents in this study, PPs have become annual cultural events that are
part of the municipal or national annual holiday calendar, and this in itself is a claim to space.
Contemporary PPs are in a difficult position because they originated as freedom marches with heavy
protest elements, which in many locations, this is still necessary and true. However, other PPs have
evolved into celebrations of individuality and Pride.
Enguix (2009) describes the complexities of PPs seen in the Amsterdam CP. They cover topics
such as sexuality-based oppression and violence, sexuality as a form of identity, assimilation
discussions, and the emancipation of accepting differences, among others. Prides are cultural
gatherings designed to rebel against normative power structures, celebrate radical self-expression
regardless of social approval of it, and communicate political views. PPs inspire thoughts and ideas
from all social strata. It is difficult to compare them to other cultural events, but they are always a
manifestation of who individuals are (Enguix, 2009). His analysis will be used in the results to give a
wider understanding around the importance of the CP for the Amsterdam RC.
2.2 The invisible power structures of a white male-dominated heteronormative world
While it is clear from the preceding section that PP are embedded with greater significance than its
cultural expression, this section will elaborate on how heteronormative and hegemonic masculinity
creates structures in Dutch society, in which the CP occurs, building different layers in relation to
power around gender and sexuality, and how this has implications for the RC. As explained in the
preceding section, PP temporarily change heteronormative public areas into queer spaces and
challenge for a short time normative power dynamics (Enguix, 2009). The most prevalent power
dynamic in our society is heteronormativity, which is defined as "the idea that normal and natural
displays of sexuality in society are heterosexual in nature," resulting in discriminatory structures for
non-heterosexuals (Rogers et al., 2013). It implies gender is binary and romantic relationships
involve only men and women. The system is based on this standard, including marital regulations,
parental rights, official documents, etc. It is not rare for persons who deviate from this norm, such as
homosexuals, to face stigma and prejudice due to their non-normativity (Ferrari et al., 2021). This is
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just one of the many invisible power systems that must be investigated in order to fully comprehend
the CP's complexity and friction fields discussed later in the results.
The societal concept of male supremacy over women and other gender identities is
characterized by hegemonic masculinity (Donaldson, 1993). Such masculine characteristics include
courage and strength, as well as resistance to accept assistance or express feelings. Donaldson
(1993) asserts that heterosexuality and homophobia are the foundation of hegemonic masculinity.
He deems it burdensome and delicate. Fragile because homosexuals' feminization may pose a
challenge to this male ideal, prompting violent responses to defend it (Dean, 2013). This results in
established gender roles and conventions. Gender norms and roles are socially established
expectations that govern acceptable behavior for men and women. Men should be authoritarian
leaders who are never afraid, never cry, and never seek for help. Women are assumed to take the
role of caregiver are gentle and emotional (Scalar Education, 2017). Those who do not identify with
these gender norms or with heterosexuality are considered outsiders and may encounter phobia,
hostility, and social rejection (Herz & Johansson, 2015). The LGBTQ+ community belongs to this
minority group, known as "the other"the group that celebrates Prides all over the globe because
of the position they have been put in (Diversity Arts Culture, 2022). The power resides among the
heterosexual majority group. The other, who deviates from the norm, has less influence and is more
susceptible to prejudice and exclusion since the majority establishes the tone, rules, and standards
and determines who is and is not included in the general society. In a hegemonic masculine society,
men dominate and occupy the most powerful positions. They are the leader of the state, the
economic system, and the family (Pierik, n.d.). In a heteronormative society, persons who identify as
straight constitute the majority and maintain the majority power position (Eytan, 2017). In essence
society could be observed According to Rubin's (1984) sexual value hierarchy: married cis gender
hetero men and women are at the top of general society, followed by other heterosexuals. Next in
line are monogamous cisgender gay men and lesbian women, followed by single and sexually active
gays and lesbians. Transgenders, crossdressers, fetishists, and others fall at the bottom of the
hierarchy. LGBTQ+ people as a group are distinct from the powerful heteronormative majority and
constitute a minority. Similar power structures and hierarchies can be observed within that minority
and will be presented in the result section.
White privilege is an important layer that influences all of the aforementioned topics. White
privilege refers to the societal advantage that white individuals enjoy solely because they are white
(Logie & Rwigema, 2014). Long has the globe been split between the 'powerful' white and the
dominated colored others, creating a world of racial othering (Aouragh, 2019). The majority of the
population in the Netherlands is white, and white privilege is linked to numerous political disputes
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on power structures in the country as well as the LGBTQ+ community (Aouragh, 2019; Logie &
Rwigema, 2014). This is a crucial dynamic to keep in mind when reading section 4, in which the
division between Pride Amsterdam and various Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPoC)
organizations will be described. The invisible power dynamics framework requires a final layer to
take readers through the findings of this study. All of the previous layer’s flow into the
intersectionality framework. Intersectionality describes how prejudice based on gender and gender
identity, race, sexual orientation, class, and disability can intersect (Center for Intersectional Justice,
2022). "Just like in the Stonewall times, our Pride is intersectional: we cannot celebrate the freedom
of one group at the expense of the freedom of other groups," said the 'Reclaim our Pride'
organization (2017).
2.3 Identity Politics
Intersectionality describes above the overlap of several forms of discrimination a person may face
even at events like the CP. As an illustration, a Muslim transgender woman from Somalia may face
discrimination based on her race (racism or xenophobia), sexual orientation (transphobia), gender
identity (sexism or misogyny), and religion (islamophobia), all of which are distinct yet interrelated.
The political response to intersectionality can be witnessed in identity politics and during the LGBT
liberation in the last century (Crenshaw, 1991; Mesli, 2015). Identity politics refers to the political
actions and interests of minority groups have that are based on their race, gender, sexual
orientation, religion, or other traits. It originated in 1977 with the Combahee River Collective
Statement, a document utilized by women of color in the feminist movement (BlackPast, 2012). It
often refers to groups that have been discriminated against or disregarded and are now seeking
their rights. In Knouse's (2009) terminology, it is referred to as "status-based social movement
activism," but the essential is that oppressed groups establish political coalitions to advocate for
their rights. Feminist movements, LGBT liberation, and Black liberation are examples of such groups.
Those are anti-normative and anti-male dominated oppression movements (Bernstein, 2005).
Identity politics was viewed as a new social movement (NSM) due to the fact that its political
activism has moved away from a class-based movement, as it was viewed in Marxist frameworks.
NSM contests "prevailing normative and cultural codes". Identity Politics investigates how
difference is controlled in society and advocates for its emancipation (Bernstein, 2005). These NSM
and the surrounding politics were the origins of Prides.
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Critics assert that identity politics do not eradicate differences but rather accentuate them
as a result of their emphasis on minority identities. For example, identity politics such as women's
rights and black liberation emphasize their right to equal participation in society by highlighting the
institutionalized power structures that prevent them from doing so. The LGBTQ+ movement focuses
on reducing sexual orientation-related stigma and discrimination (Bernstein, 2005). Identity politics
within the LGBT movement describes itself "in opposition to heteronormativity as institutionalized"
(Heckert, 2018a). Heckert (2018) contends that PPs exacerbate the gap between sexual identities as
opposed to bringing them closer together. Instead of attempting to reduce differences, PPs
emphasize difference and being visible is the most essential component of such events to bring the
difference into the public sphere. This concept is closely tied to queer ideas in which diversity should
be embraced and appreciated rather than assimilation being the primary objective (Mesli, 2015).
The best method for LGBTQ+ individuals to be noticed, according to Enguix (2009), is by occupying
public spaces, which is precisely what PPs do, as mentioned earlierClick or tap here to enter text..
Because their political activism strives to be non-identarian, queer theories and politics
stand in opposition to identity politics. It seeks to establish "radical alliances among all socially
oppressed groups," whereas identity politics maintained an emphasis on gender, sexuality, and
ethnicity and so reproduced the processes described (Mesli, 2015). In contrast to identity politics,
queer movements emphasize the similarities between individuals despite their differences. Critical
self-reflection concerning 'identity' distinguishes this concept from identity politics. Queer politics
needed identity politics as a first steppingstone to evolve but both movements evolved over time
and adapted to the surrounding political environment (Slagle, 1995). This shift from identity politics
to queer politics is evident at the CP, as queer organizations demonstrate for radical association
against capitalism, with Pink washing and global injustice being on their agenda alongside queer
liberation. (Reclaim our Pride, 2017).
2.4. The queer movement
Today, the term "queer" refers to the unwillingness to identify with any label or description, as well
as a unified movement with its strengths centered on the acceptance of difference (Browne &
McCartan, 2020). Strangeness is the definition of queerness (Baer & Kaindl, 2018). Queer
individuals do not wish to view themselves as women or men, lesbians or gays, White or Asian, but
as humans. Queer politics emerged from Queer theories and symbolized political activism that
investigates societal assumptions surrounding gender, sexuality, and its norms, but goes further. It
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examines with a critical lens the societal effects of these power-related structural processes
surrounding sexuality and race. Queer denotes not only "non-heteronormative" but also the
flexibility of sexual orientation, the lack of definitions and labels, and the questioning of current
social institutions that perpetuate heteronormative culture (Plötz, 2014; Seidman, 2001). This
demonstrates the evolution of the homosexual liberation movement, which battled for recognition
by the prevailing majority group (Slagle, 1995). The goal of the LGBT movement is not assimilation,
but rather to be emancipated and accepted for being different. According to Slagle (1995),
oppression by the ruling heterosexual majority is not justified by the fact that queers are different.
The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community desires to celebrate their differences rather
than be silenced and compelled to "fit in" (Slagle, 1995). Michel Foucault's (1976) assertion that
the freedom of sexuality is impossible because the emancipation of one set of norms will lead to the
normalization of another. This forms the foundation of queer ideas. Foucault argues that there is no
"natural sexuality" to liberate, as it was never repressed, but rather incorporated into new
discourses that revealed "the scientific truth about ourselves through our sexuality" (Gutting &
Oksala, 2018). According to Foucault, the knowledge of sexuality is inextricably related to the social
construct surrounding it, which we internalize, normalize, and becomes invisible power as a result
and which we replicate (Gutting & Oksala, 2018). Queer politics underpins activism, the efforts to
break the labels and norms associated with sexuality and to establish a living environment without
labels, which are supported by public policy (Davidson, 2020). It can be viewed as a new and
undefined discourse surrounding sexuality, based on Foucault's concepts (Spargo, 1999). Through
this absence of labels true equality and justice can be realized, as sexual orientation is no longer an
identifying characteristic for anyone (Plötz, 2014). Today's queer activism takes it a step further,
examining power dynamics in society also relate to capitalism, the environment, and global equality.
It attempts to form coalitions with all oppressed groups in order to establish a more worldwide
humane society by entering the public sphere (Mesli, 2015; Slagle, 1995). The visible cannot be
concealed or disregarded. The activism contests the heteronormative power dynamic that drives
queer sexuality into the private domain of invisibility. Through these visible actions, the movement
raises queer consciousness, which not only empowers community members to fight the normative
majority, but also raises awareness of their existence inside the majority (Slagle, 1995). The essence
of the queer movement is not conformity, but rather the creation of a place for the acceptance and
celebration of being different (Slagle, 1995). This will be elaborated upon in the findings when
interviewees discuss queer spaces. These spaces are intended to be devoid of power dynamics due
to the absence of normative structures. In these areas, the rainbow alphabet is no longer relevant.
Those spaces make an opportunity for the celebration of oneself, unfettered by predetermined
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roles. It is now evident that there is a fundamental distinction between identity politics with its focus
on assimilation as previously stated and the queer movement. In the presentation of the results, the
tension fields surrounding these variations and how they affect the various groups at the CP will
become evident.
2.5 The brand “gay”
As stated in the introduction, the CP began as a commercial event with a commercial objective and
was thereforecommercialat the time. However, the meaning of this perceived commercialization
over time is attempted to be illustrated via the lens of "Homo Economicus" by Gluckman & Reed
(1997). In the 1990s, the marketing industry began to recognize the financial potential of
homosexual men and lesbian. As a target group that had been neglected as a consumer until then
and was thought to be willing to spend money, the commercialization of homosexuality began
(Gluckman & Reed, 1997). Today, more research is available on "rainbow capitalism," or the
exploitation of the LGBTQ+ emblem to encourage consumerism without increasing equality for the
community (Bailey, 2021; Zheng, 2021). LGBTQ+ individuals travel to gay-friendly vacation spots and
mingle in gay-friendly or rainbow-themed neighborhoods and bars because they can feel safe and
escape heterosexism there. This creates new financial opportunities, as the example of Mexico
demonstrates, where the Chamber of Commerce declared on its website that they intend to
diversify Mexico's tourism (Bailey, 2021). This could be considered a step toward normalization via a
commercial approach, but it is not necessarily an intrinsic step towards acceptance and inclusion.
Next to rainbow capitalism, pink washing is an even greater concern. First, pink washing is regarded
as the deceit of private corporations' assistance for the LGBTQ+ community, as they are primarily
concerned with the capital capacity of the target population for their own profit (Mentis, 2020).
Second, pink washing is viewed as an attempt to utilize LGBTIQ+ inclusion and diversity as a
marketing ploy to sell or win customers while diverting attention from other concerns they do not
adequately address (Mentis, 2020). For example, Israel's 2005 gay tourism campaign and Amazon's
LGBTQ+ initiatives are deemed Pink washing, as the Isreal example drew numerous accusations
because, on the one hand, they advertise their support for gays to visit Israel, while on the other
hand, they bomb Palestine and violate fundamental human rights (Dahl, 2014). Amazone in the
United States is notorious for its bad working conditions and tax dodging, but the company officially
supports the LGBTQ+ community (Dahl, 2014). Pink washing is also said to occur when companies
just make a rainbow effort during Pride month but do not actively focus on inclusion and diversity
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the rest of the year. Pink washing is generally regarded as occurring when the community is
exploited for financial gain without providing any financial assistance for a better world for
community members (Eeckels, 2021). Authentic community affiliation is welcomed, but it cannot be
used for commercial gain at the expense of other marginalized and vulnerable groups. This is one of
the arguments LGBTQ+ activists used to protest the CP, which will be elaborated upon in the results.
To briefly summarize: Prides as cultural events, promote visibility and public space occupancy by
queers in heteronormative, male-dominated society. LHBTQ+ liberation was one of the liberation
movements that arose in the 20th century as a result of intersectionality. Today, this has
partially transitioned to queer activism, which brings a wide agenda encompassing climate change,
ethical entrepreneurship, and the radical unification of all oppressed groups into the picture. Due to
the stance on ethical commerce, several businesses are accused of pink washing, which is viewed as
exploiting the RC for capitalist objectives without supporting the emancipation of the community.
3. Methodology
I chose qualitative research for this topic because it allows us to explore and evaluate how personal
social reality influences the behavior and interactions of participants. As a researcher, I can learn
through dialogue with respondents how they comprehend their social environment and how they
give this environment meaning through social constructions (Tracy, 2013). For this particular
research in which I attempt to comprehend people's perceptions around the CP through their
experiences, feeling of identity, and sense of belonging, qualitative research proved to be an
excellent choice. Through conversations with the many participants, I may evaluate and interpret
their responses to establish a relationship between the various social strata.
3.1 Contact with participants
To recruit queer and lesbian women for the study, I contacted my personal network and inquired as
to their willingness to participate. I downloaded the dating apps HER and Tinder and posted my
quest for participants in the hopes of being matched with ladies who were interested in
participating. I "liked" every woman who met the age requirement (25-45 years old) and then, in
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conversation, provided further information about the research and the last need, which was to have
attended a CP at least once as a guest or participant. I matched with twenty ladies and contacted
each of them with research-related information. I conducted interviews with two women from the
HER app. Other participants either did not respond to my initial app message or we were unable to
agree on an interview date. My profile was disabled by the HER app after I was accused of violating
the terms and regulations. Another way to find participants was by posting a flyer in the newest
lesbian bar in Amsterdam, Bar Buka, which resulted in one participant, and I gave an interview on
Radio Zandvoort's Rainbow show to recruit participants. I recruited four women using snowballing,
contacts obtained via other participants (Tracy, 2013). I interviewed eleven women who identified as
queer or lesbian in total. All participants held advanced degrees. With the exception of one
individual, all participants were in their late 20s to late 30s. One person in her late 50s was selected
based on her activism in NL and the Caribbean region. Three individuals come from diverse cultural
backgrounds. 1 interview was excluded because the participant had never experienced the CP. For
inclusion of the opposing opinions, multiple activist groups, such as Black Pride, Reclaim our Pride,
Colorful Pride, Pink New West, and Papaya Kuir were approached via Facebook, Instagram, E-mail,
LinkedIn, or other individuals, but no response or agreement for collaboration was received.
Regarding the business partners, Pride Amsterdam initiated contact with all commercial
partners to inquire about their participation. I was given access to the positive returns, after which I
could contact them myself. Ten of the eleven positive returns agreed to an interview. Through these
connections, I was referred to other willing participants. I interviewed twelve commercial partners in
total. Five of the commercial partners' only connection to the RC was their professional work with
Pride Amsterdam. 3 of the participating groups are hotels, 4 are street event organizers, and 5 have
other corporate relationships with the event. Two individuals had a mixed cultural background, and
three were female. All participants' ages ranged from 30 to a maximum of 60 years.
In partnership with Pride Amsterdam, we studied the list of participating boats for the 2022
parade to determine who had previously participated. We selected a variety of corporate firms,
social companies and organizations, non-governmental, and government agencies that had engaged
at least once in the previous five years. They were initially approached by Pride Amsterdam, who
then shared the positive returns with me so I could continue the relationship individually. During a
Pride business club event, I was asked to pitch the study, which resulted in increased participation.
Two contacts were recommended to me by participants who agreed to be interviewed.
I interacted with eight participating parties in total. I conducted six individual interviews with the
boat's organizer, three solo interviews with participants, and six focus group conversations with two
to six participants. All participants who had celebrate Pride on boats were between 30-65 years old.
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There is a list of all participants in this study in annex 2. All names have been anonymized for the
sake of research.
3.2 Interview styles and coding process
Individual interviews were chosen for the commercial partners and queer women due to the ability
to conduct semi-structured in-depth conversations to gain insight into their experiences and
perspectives and to have the opportunity to develop a more liberal conversation (Tracy, 2013).
Focus group discussions according to Tracy's theory (2013) were designed to reach multiple
participants at once, reducing the strain on participating organizations, and monitor the dynamics
between participants while they shared their experiences and recollections. For industries with a
distinct duty schedule, it was necessary to convert smaller groups due to the 24-hour shifts. For
multinational organizations with international guests on board, it was impossible to speak with
anyone other than the boat's organizer.
Based on Tracy’s theory (2013), three questionnaires were constructed for semi-structured open
interviews, one for each target group with comparable but customized questions regarding their
relationship with the CP. For the commercial partners, there were questions regarding the impact of
their business partnership with Pride Amsterdam on their organization and their LGBTQ+
emancipation. The questionnaire for queer women included questions about their perception of
representation during the event and the impact the event had on their queer identity. I added
additional questions for the participating companies to determine if the participants had a more
robust system for providing feedback on their work environment and the diversity and inclusion
policy. All questionnaires addressed impressions and experiences of the event, positioning on the
spectrum, and connections between the event and LGBTQ+ liberation and queer activism in NL.
Queer activism is a specific term that was not expected to be understood by all participants in the
same line as LGBTQ+ emancipation to determine if the participants can make the connection. These
were utilized to guide and structure the interviews. The interviews were conducted as open, semi-
structured interviews to allow for a deeper exploration of the responses. The interviews were
conducted in person, via zoom or teams, or by telephone. Due to a lack of vision over the phone,
phone interviews were unable to complete the spectrum. Everyone else was instructed to position
themselves. Except for one each, all interviews and focus groups were performed in Dutch so that
participants could respond in their language. The participants in the exceptions had a multicultural
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background, and English as their predominant language. This means that the other participants in
the FGD also spoke in English. After obtaining consent, all interviews were recorded. Transcriptions
were performed via Word dictate and re-transcribed simultaneous in the software Atlas.ti
during encoding with the audio record. Due to time constraints, this approach of audio coding
system was chosen. The audio recording in conjunction with the written material provided the
advantage of hearing more information and facilitated the coding process. Coding was done using
the frame of Gioia et al. (2013) with 1rst and 2nd level coding. After the first coding exercise which
gave 50 codes on the first level, divided into 23 themes at 2nd level coding, a coding book was
prepared and used per target group for further coding. There were additional codes inserted during
coding by in vivo coding, using participants' wording for codes or other means. It was decided to
create a separate document in which to include quotations that were deemed significant throughout
the coding process and that I wanted to set away for analysis because they were excellent examples
of deeper layers of replies that I wanted to utilize as examples in the results. All quotes used in this
Thesis were translated from Dutch into English with a focus on respecting the participant's choice of
wording. The quotes are marked to which of the 3 groups the participant belonged. QW stands for
the lesbian and queer women, Com stands for commercial partners and BP stands for people who
were interview in the group of CP participants on boats.
Each group's spectrum was encoded in the same manner. Depending on their responses and
drawings, the positioning questions were labeled as "Spectrum Commercial," "Spectrum
Celebration," and "Spectrum Political." The responses were extracted, connected to the particular
spectrum, and analyzed for their discourse. Because certain discourses recurred during the
interview, additional codes were added to the spectrum's discourse analysis: commercial, company
activism, employee motivation to participate, and party strength.
For the examination of tensions, the following codes were extracted into spreadsheets:
tensions, municipality, queer activism, dominant group, not-community community, hetero
dominant, 'other,' different fights to fight, negative safety, and what the community needs. Before
coding, the five sections of the results were determined. These sections were utilized to group the
codes for the second level of coding by extracting the codes used to designate quotations that
yielded results for the sections.
3.3 Visual Material
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The rainbow spectrum was developed to measure how participants perceived the event
commercial, celebration or political.
The use of a spectrum was inspired by the idea around the different spectrums of sexuality, based
on the work of Kinsey et al. (1948) who developed the Kinsey Scale to measure an individual’s
hetero- or homosexuality (Kinsey Institute, 2022). A spectrum was chosen to better assess the
intricacy of the event's perceived place in Amsterdam's or Dutch society from a variety of
perspectives. Because it has more "motion," the spectrum provides the freedom to delve deeper
into people's perceptions. Participants can pick a position between the three definitions, and their
answer reveals how they view it more accurately. A rainbow was chosen for the spectrum in line
with the rainbow flag used by the LGBTQ+ community. Left is commercial, the center is celebratory,
and right is political/activist. Commercial and political are at the outer ends because they are in the
critics put opposite of each other (NOS, 2022). Participants were instructed to locate themselves on
the rainbow. Due to recurring criticisms that it is too commercial and the desire of some groups for it
to be more of a demonstration with a political message, celebration occupies a position between
commercial and political. As each participant was required to establish and justify their perspective,
the criticism of excessive commercialism became clearer. Through discourse analysis, the responses
were compared to determine the terminology used to characterize the set's positioning.
I employed the visual projective and enabling technique with the queer women's group to elicit a
more instinctive response to the question "which image best depicts your experience with the CP?"
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(Emerald Group Publishing, 1996). All three images originated from a Google image search for "Canal
Parade boats" from the past few years.
Picture 1 was chosen for the naked male representation. It shows several men with naked well
trained upper bodies in the front.
Picture 2 was chosen as a representation of commercial companies and shows a boat with AXE
identification and people in AXE t-shirt on it.
Picture nr 3 shows a group of transgender people with the sign “Activist Proud2beTrans” and was
used to reflect more on the protest or activism image of the CP.
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Participants were asked to look at the 3 pictures and choose the picture which represented their
experience of the CP most or which reminded them most of their experience at the CP. Through this,
I tried to gain intuitive or deeper subconscious attitudes and answers (Fazrul, 2020).
3.4 Bias, limitations, and ethical dilemma
To comprehend the conflicts associated with the CP as an event, I must examine my personal bias
and ethical stance on the subject (Tracy, 2013). As an alley of the rainbow alphabet, I cannot truly
comprehend the extent of discrimination that the other letters face. I have a special spot for the CP
and recall the first time I participated in this event. I was struck with pride to live in a part of the
globe where this is allowed, where individuals can celebrate their differences and express
themselves to the fullest extent that CP permits. For me, it was an entirely happy occasion. I did not
notice any signs of marketing or activism. I observed mostly self-liberation, radical self-expression,
civic responsibility, and immediacy, which reminded me of the principles of Burning Man (Burning
man, 2022). With this procession, I felt most proud of where NL stands. As a qualitative researcher, I
am conscious of this prejudice as well as my subjectivity in presenting the empirical findings of this
study. To a certain extent, the interpretation of the results depends on my reality. The research
question is used to direct the researcher towards a more objective examination of the varied
perceptions and opinions while maintaining a critical stance as a researcher (Tracy, 2013). The
objectivity of the research question is utilized to identify the spaces between. For me, this entails not
just gaining a deeper understanding of the various critics' perspectives, but also of the discourses
employed and their repetition. In the following chapter, I will elaborate on participant selection,
data collection, analysis, and interpretation in order to reach the results provided.
After the ethical self-check, provided by the Vrije Universiteit, the ethical committee's
review was no longer relevant. The study has limitations such as the following. The majority of
participants are Caucasians with a high degree of education. Several members of the gay women's
group have a sociological or anthropological background and have a highly differentiated
perspective on the topic, which is evident in their use of terminology and wording, as well as in how
they see the event and identify its various layers. I also restricted myself to queer women who
identify as cisgender women to respect the scope of this thesis.
During the course of the research, an ethical dilemma became apparent. The results of the
sub-question that examines the many areas of conflict were related to the leadership and
management of Pride Amsterdam's direction. As a researcher, I am objective and provide
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conclusions based on participant data. Pride Amsterdam originated the request for the investigation,
but it became clear from the data that they play a part in the tension fields surrounding the
Amsterdam community. The publishing of these findings emphasizes the researcher's neutrality and
4. Results
4.1 The parade and its goals
Word Cloud 1 what words do participants use to explain the CP to a stranger.
The word cloud depicts how participants responded to the question "describe CP to someone who
has never been." It's defined as a "love celebration" with colors and boats, and it's regarded as "cozy
and friendly with a wonderful vibe." It’s Pink King’s Day for LGBTQ+ members. It brings the nine-day
Pride festival to a close with a bang. In general, the people chose words of celebration to explain the
CP. People continue to use these words when describing how it felt to be on a boat.
Matheo (BP) “After having lived through so much shit, you suddenly are treated like a
superstar and people cheer for you and you can be seen and celebrated for who you are
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because those who are there celebrate the diversity you are a part of. It’s so empowering.
There is so much love. It’s completely overwhelming.”
Matheo shares his first impressions of being on a boat. Many members of the group have described
how emotionally overwhelmed they were, to be suddenly honored for who they are after feeling
excluded and rejected by society about who they are. In most cities around the world, the PP is the
result of a demonstration mentality following the Stonewall Inn riots. PPs are still significant,
according to Heldberg (2022), a bicultural psychiatrist and member of the board at Pride
Amsterdam: Homophobia persists, as does discrimination based on sexual orientation. Because the
heterosexual norm is still viewed as the norm, PPs are still required. As a result, persons who do not
fit the mold may be excluded, discriminated against, experience shame, self-hatred, and even
commit suicide. Prides exist to allow minorities to celebrate themselves and to recognize that they
can be who they are and that they are valuable in their own way. Even the Dutch society is not equal
and inclusive. People who do not fit into the norm are discriminated against and harmed even in the
Netherlands. PPs provide a forum for people to speak out against oppression and demonstrate that
every kind of existence is represented and "normal" in society and the natural environment.
Everyone should be proud of themselves (Heldberg, 2022).
As mentioned earlier, the CP in Amsterdam did not mainly start as a demonstration. This aspect of
political activism which is now part of the CP developed along the way. One thing that the CP does in
NL, is create a platform for discussion.
Leon (BP) “There is no other event, which is talked about so much or to which people
express their opinion. Even people who have never been there.”
Sofie (QW) “The good about the CP is, it is very visible. The good thing about that is, that
there is a lot of critics around it and that is great. And the good thing is because it is so
visible there is a lot of potential for change and that also happens.
The CP is the most famous event of Amsterdam Pride week which consists of the Pride walk, the
Pride Park in the Vondelpark, the Pride hotel in the Student Hotel and several art and cultural events
during the week . As many assert, "pride belongs to all." When asked about the purpose,
participants provided a variety of responses. This variety demonstrates that the CP does not have a
singular emphasis but may be shaped and developed by its surroundings and its 'Zeitgeist'. However,
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if Pride and the CP are for everyone, it may not require a single emphasis. Here is a list of the
primary concepts regarding the CP's purpose:
Word cloud 2 What is the goal of the CP?
Regarding the purposes of the CP, four major themes can be identified. First, commemoration and
the realization that the struggle for equal rights and emancipation is not yet overcome. As previously
said, there are still places where LGBTQ+ individuals are persecuted and murdered. Even in NL,
discrimination persists. However, it is equally essential to understand where the Dutch as a society
have come from. Second, and closely linked, is the significance of being visible as a diverse group.
The third is the participants' celebration: "the purpose is to celebrate who we are." And final, the CP
sends a specific message regarding the Netherlands and Amsterdam, namely Dutch Pride for their
tolerance and LGBTQ+ friendliness. For multiple participants, the CP has multiple objectives.
Indira (BP) “Why do you need to make such a big fuss about it. But most of the time the
people who would say that have no clue what it’s about and why people still need to do it.
The struggles that homosexuals, even in a country like NL have to go through. Forget about
the rest of the world where it's homophobic even. So, for me, the objective is really to
showcase one, there's still work to be done and second, as you said is just the same doesn't
matter how it is it's a man man, woman man, woman woman right it doesn't matter for me I
feel that's the objective.
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The CP, an event with so much potential to develop in either direction, can be whatever the
participants and guests make it according to the interviewees. The CP is compared to King's Day, but
with more love and fewer troublemakers visiting the city. This emphasizes the celebratory part of
the event, as it did when it began in the 1990s (, 2020).
4.1.1 A generation conflict
While the preceding demonstrates that a subset of respondents identifies the goals of the CP
positively, for others, the CP does not reflect them or their ideas. In NL, the LGBTQ+ movement is
visible and audible. It is evident that NL is not as equal or emancipated as certain members of the
movement want it to be, and there is still a long way to go so they say, but if they put it in context,
they can appreciate where it is. This creates tension with the younger generation of activists who
focus on what is not there yet. According to the literature, there has been a transition from the
desire to assimilate and be accepted to fit in, which was the goal of the identity politics of gay
liberation, to an acceptance of being different, which is the objective of contemporary queer
activism as described by Mesli (2015). There is a generational conflict between those who initiated
this movement in the 1990s and look at all they have accomplished and the new generation who, as
queer individuals, see what is still required and do not limit their struggles to identity politics but are
also fighting for change in other domains such as climate change, racism, and fair pay for all. This
latter group does not feel represented by the CP and lacks a sense of belonging.
Magali (QW) “I mean the ING and the police. The human rights abuses in some of those
companies are bad, so you can't promote diversity on the one hand and exploit the Black
and Brown people on the other hand and not pay them.”
John (BP)The reclaim our Pride organization's demonstration is also a bit anti-capitalist, a
bit anti-globalist as well right. So, I think pride has to work to make sure of 'come join us'.
According to the majority of participants the CP has little effect on this fight for equality,. Friction
happens because activists in the 1990s, when the CP debuted, demanded different improvements
than activists in the present day. The majority of people on the boats look at how far weve come,
whilst activists on the shore, such as reclaim our Pride, focus on what still is not working. What the
CP creates, according to interviewees, is a platform that should and must be used to make a
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statement, advance a political message, and spark debate and controversy. In the theory, the power
of this visibility” during Prides is described by Enguix (2009).
Tanja (QW)Its a good moment if you really want to make a statement. Just like reclaim our
pride, huh that activist group, did. The Canal Parade is a good moment of course to claim
that attention.”
Michael (BP) “Why do we participate? Because it's a huge stage. It's real. If it's a good day,
it's 500,000 people seeing your boat, you and your message. “
According to some participants, the disagreements and noise surrounding the CP should be viewed
as a strength of the event. The platform provided by the CP can be utilized by the many interest
groups with their distinct actions and calls to action. It indicates that the rainbow community is in
motion, and with motion comes change. One of the goals cited by the interviewers is visibility.
Activist groups require visibility in order for their message to be heard and noticed. The power of
this visibility during Prides is described in the theory by Enguix (2009). Visibility is assured during the
CP, whether on the boats, on the shore, or in the media. As a result, there is public discourse about
the rainbow community. Visibility and public discourse do not affect acceptance but can affect
normalcy (Lewis & Simpson, 2012). The more a subject is discussed, the more familiar it becomes.
4.2 The discourses around the spectrum
In the Methodology chapter, the spectrum was addressed in detail. In annex 3, each individual’s
spectrum is presented In this chapter, a composite of all the different spectrums for each target
group is given and discussed.
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Spectrum 1 Queer women
Spectrum 2 boat participants
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Spectrum 3 commercial partners
In spectrum 1, the composition of the queer participants is displayed. The plurality of the
women positioned themselves on the commercial side. It is a celebration of love for one individual,
as signified by the heart at the top. Two participants chose the political side, while one selected a
range on the political spectrum, demonstrating that there is diversity in terms of activism. The event
itself is political, with certain aspects being more political than others. The participant who scribbled
on the commercial side used this to indicate the level of commercial party representation at the CP.
For the success of the CP, one woman chose a circle to represent the connection between all
components of the spectrum.
All participants on Spectrum 2 had previously been on a CP boat. Most of them positioned
themselves on the political side, arguing that their participation stems from an activist movement.
Participants indicated that they work for emancipation within their organizations and view the public
statement from their employers as one of their accomplishments. One established a connection
between festivity and politics to demonstrate their relationship. The circle surrounding commercial
denoted that the requirement for the celebration and political event to occur lies in commerce and
sponsorship to fund the occasion.
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Spectrum 3 displays the location of commercial partners. The circle integrating commercial with
celebration and political was meant to illustrate the interconnectedness of all CP components.
Additionally, the two X in the center were utilized to position themselves in the middle of all to
symbolize that all aspects are required to plan the event. The occasion requires commerce, festivity,
and advocacy. The majority did position themselves on the commercial side, whereas only one
person positioned themselves on the celebratory side and one on the activist side. The discourse
analysis surrounding the spectrum will be discussed in the next chapter.
4.2.1. The need for ethical commercialization
The spectrum provides a tool for a more comprehensive study of the perspectives and adds subtlety
to the discourses surrounding the event's commercialization and the tensions surrounding it. In this
reading of the discourse surrounding the CP, the various levels demonstrate that the term
"commercialization" is employed to denote a variety of CP-related changes. Several attendees
highlight the connection between commercialization and financing the event.
Nico (Com) “I know it’s not wanted, or the idea of the Pride and I know it may not be too
commercial but without the commerce, this Parade couldn’t be organized. There is just a
cost involved.”
Tanja (QW) “…and contributed here to lift pride off the ground you need the commerce. “
Worldwide, PPs are sponsored, and there is a global debate on whether they should be sponsored
by "unethical" corporations (Blum, 2017; Enguix, 2017). A PP requires sponsorship for its funding. In
NL, the municipality subsidizes the event, but not enough for the CP to be financially independent
(Pride Amsterdam, 2020). The following sponsorship-related details emerged from the interviews:
Different from other events, celebrations, and festivals, there appears to be an expectation that PP
adheres to a particular ethical standard, to honor its birth as a protest movement against the
oppression of the LGBTQ+ population. Today, the movement's activists continue to struggle against
inequality, but in addition to the fight against sexual and gender oppression, other subjects have
evolved, as stated earlier in this chapter. As stated by interviewees, companies deemed unethical
due to tax fraud, disregard for climate change actions, and violation of human rights have no place in
a PP. This has also been mentioned in relation to global PP occurrences (Blum, 2017). The activists
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have an international perspective. For many, it is inexcusable to invite unethical corporations to an
event celebrating the emancipation from oppression. This is an example of the generation conflict
described in the preceding section. The definition of emancipation in the context of a just world has
shifted. National inclusion and liberty are insufficient. Today, activists demand the addition of new
items to the agenda.
Magali (QW) “Because it increases the power of companies and does not look at the impact
of those companies on human rights internationally, not necessarily in the Netherlands. “
The interviewees make it apparent that LGBTIQ+ campaigners demand that firms' immoral behavior
on a global scale be considered for their involvement in the CP. This creates a problem because,
according to others, the commitment of firms and openly associating their names to the CP can also
be a strategic move to encourage activism, public knowledge, and acceptance of the community.
Tanja (QW) “For example, at one point we looked very critically at whether perhaps a
company like Coca Cola, we know they have funds specifically for all LGBT people and at one
point we even considered asking them for money for some kind of pride activity. As far as it
is possible to, you know. Some countries still have legislation against it. But because Coca
Cola makes a statement, it can help me, who also drinks Coca Cola and is a fan of drinking
Coca Cola, for example, and I hear that Coca Cola supports the LGBT community, then
maybe it can help because they have made that statement than I will look at it differently
and think differently than it will influence me. ‘Well Coca Cola supports it.’ So, we have also
looked at those kinds of options, for example, as a strategy”
Tanja has been an international activist for many years. She takes a pragmatic approach to activism.
She views the involvement of corporations as something that can be used to make a strong
statement, as a source of funding, and to recognize that there is activism within corporations. As
Tanja explains, Pink Networks take the initiative in numerous corporations to promote LGBTIQ+
inclusion in the workplace. This acceptance and emancipation work can be forgotten if it is not
visible to the outside world. She believes that by associating these companies with the PPs,
declarations are made, and public awareness is raised to demonstrate that LGBTIQ+ people exist
everywhere and strive towards emancipation everywhere. For Tanja, the utilization of large
corporations as a support for sponsorship is a strength.
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4.2.2 What the Networks do
I was allowed to read the diversity and inclusion policies of several corporate and one public
institution to better understand what they do to support the LGBTIQ+ community outside of the CP
in order to better comprehend how these Networks, the so-called Pink Networks, and companies
fulfill the commitments they made by being represented at the CP. In their policies, they claim that
they wish to reflect the diversity of society and that they recognize the significance of doing so. They
pledge to provide a safe atmosphere for everyone, and discrimination is not tolerated in their
workplace. There is a part for the company's values and norms, as well as behavior expectations for
employees. The policies describe how they intend to achieve diversity and inclusion, with some tying
it to particular goals and indicators to determine whether they meet their objectives. Indicators can
be used to measure the quality of action plans, as well as to identify areas of weakness. There are
percentages of women in executive roles and percentages of employers having a migrant or
multicultural background. One policy establishes a connection with the CP and uses this public
declaration during the event to post images, but also as a message of Pride within the organization
to allow employees to be whom they want to be. The policies identify the many Networks with
activities and specific initiatives for the various minority communities. In general, the policy outlines
the commitment to an inclusive and varied work environment, as well as the staff's responsibilities
and appropriate responses to the occurrence of discrimination. The policy is a mechanism for
holding the company, management, and coworkers accountable for the public commitment and
statement regarding an inclusive and diverse workplace. A written policy empowers employees and
fosters a climate where discriminatory or bullying behavior may be reported, so making the
workplace safer for everyone.
When these professionals stand on the boat with their company's emblem, it is a source of pride to
demonstrate the accomplishments for which they have fought. The company logo is viewed as a
public indication of the corporation's support for the LGBT movement.
Indira (BP) “I love the idea of an organization standing behind the people. I have been active
in the diversity space, female diversity, gender diversity and in general. But I think most
important for me during the first participation was I figured out I’m bisexual when I came to
Amsterdam 2008. I met my wife then and she has known she's been gay forever and I've
known the struggles that she had. But because I found out here for me it was very easy to
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say to people ‘hey I have a girlfriend’ or ‘I'm bisexual’ or whatever it is right. Plus, it's a bit in
my personality I just whatever I'm inside I'm outside as well. But for my wife, she's a
different personality. She's a bit more closed and she had struggles of living with it through
her teenage years. When I met her, she was 32. So, she had not even come out to her
parents. So, for me I could not see why she struggled so much to even share it with friends
that we were together, and I didn't find it nice and it's not that she didn't love me it's just it
was so hard for her. For me that standing out there and just letting the world know you
know that I'm gay, I'm bisexual, I'm straight. I love a woman. I love a man. I don't care what.
And to have an organization, that stands behind this, that means hell lot of confidence in
yourself let's say. I grew up in India where you know being a woman already is hard right and
then if you're gay on top of that then the dangers that come with it you know and if you
have a whole organization standing behind you that gives you so much yeah fearlessness
Emmanuel (BP) emphasizes the need of having direction representatives on the boats to repeat the
statement and stand beside LGBTQ+ personnel. He thinks having the "boss" present empowers
employees and provides the message that the organization wants to be inclusive to other
employees. Emmanuel further explains that the purpose of these actions is to educate and empower
LGBTQ+ individuals of the younger generation about the prevalence of queer people and the fact
that being gay or trans does not restrict career options. It contradicts the notion that homosexuals
become nurses and hairdressers. Due to their presence in the CP, it is widely known that
homosexuals also serve in the police and military. Emmanuel acknowledges that these institutions
are imperfect in terms of LGBTQ+ emancipation, but development is gradual, and the Pink Networks
are working to improve work situations in all industries. Other participants expressed their intent to
apply for employment with these companies after seeing them on the CP. Due to these public
declarations, individuals felt they could hold the firm accountable for its commitment to the Pink
Networks, they said. It helps people believe the organization supports the acceptance of every
employee, regardless of appearance or identity, as long as they deliver outstanding work. One
participating institution discusses the significance of being able to stand alongside their clients,
members of marginalized social groups, and the effect this has on their loyalty to the institution, in
addition to the powerful feeling they have by participating in the event.
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4.2.3 Other meaning of commercialization
Additionally, the term commercialization was given negative connotations in the interviews. It is
used to refer to more than the presence of firms and the business in terms of sponsorship. The
interviewees view the participation as an occupation of queer spaces. They think public relations is
utilized to establish, maintain, and improve their LGBTQ+ image. Another perspective on Pink
washing (Mentis, 2020).
Magali (QW) Because it provides a platform for businesses it does not provide that platform
for activists so in that sense it takes away from activists, leaving less public space for others
to organise.
According to van der Waal et al. (2019), the presence of commercial boats has altered over the
years. In 1996, 38% of the boats reportedly belonged to commercial companies. Commercial parties
owned 33% of the boats in 2019, up from 25% in 2011. The CP also grew from 56 boats to 80 boats
since the beginning up to 2019 (van der Waal & van der Heyden, 2019). This conflict refers to a
field of tension around accessibility between the Pride walk and the CP. This field of tension will be
further elaborated in section 4.4 in this chapter.
4.2.4 Occupation of queer spaces
Some interviewees provide alternative definitions of the term commercial with negative
connotations. They connect the mainstreaming of the CP with spectatorship and a perceived
invasion of heteronormative power relations at the CP. The CP's popularity attracts people from all
around the world, but the interviewees do not regard these visitors as allies. As previously said, the
CP is comparable to King's Day, a national holiday where partying and alcohol play a prominent role.
By this analogy, interviewees refer to the CP's mainstreaming. It encourages spectatorship and
consumption rather than support for the RC. The phrase "aapjes kijken" is used by interviewees to
describe the perception of entertainment provided by the CP to these spectators. "Aapjes kijken" is
comparable to a visit to a circus or zoo when animals are utilized to amuse audiences regardless of
their living conditions and the fact that they are exploited for amusement. This definition of
“commercialization" refers to the exploitation and consumerization of Pride's deeper meaning. They
refer to the occupation of queer spaces by straight individuals who introduce heteronormativity into
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those spaces. Occupying those spaces created for the minority group to celebrate themselves, is
considered a re-production of the general society's norms and power relationships. On the one
hand, participants explain that they enjoy the CP because they are suddenly the norm and they
experience what it must be like to be straight and seen as the majority, but on the other hand, they
explain that with this takeover of space by predominantly male heteros, they are once again visible
and seen as the other. This implies that they are once again confronted with statements and
comments regarding their sexual orientation and reminded of gender roles that stand in line with
the hegemonic masculinity present in society. They also indicate a rise in straight attendance at the
event due to its mainstreaming, which impacts the LGBTIQ+ participants' sense of safety.
When Sofie came to the CP for the first time, she identified as straight. Only later she discovered her
attraction to women but remembers her first visit mainly as a nice party with her straight friends.It
was fun. It was a party. It is also easy to celebrate it like King's Day with only heterosexuals around
Margo (QW) “I find it all so hetero the canal parade. It's being taken over and I find that
difficult because to me it's a place to still express yourself. And I think that expression is
made more difficult by those heterosexual men who are handsy and drunk and obnoxious.
With those women wearing dick diadems. I just think it's a shame.
Bobette (QW) “I think that safety comes from the fact that there is a lot more density of
queer people at Pride than in general. If then you're talking about large groups that just
come to party and drink a lot, I as small queer person, next to these very often tall straight
men, I don’t always feel safe.”
Magali (QW) “Because I still feel quite visible as a queer woman and so I'm somewhere in a
space where it should be safe for me. But I very much get the idea that I'm still exotic so I'm
still very much visible. Because as I experience the CP it attracts a lot of tourists and people
who see it as a kind of entertainment. It's commercial. A bit of ‘we go have a beer and a nice
fun afternoon’.”
These assertions demonstrate that heteronormative power dynamics and hegemonic masculinity
can create a hostile atmosphere for queer individuals at the CP.
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4.2.5 The strength of the party
The discourse surrounding "commercial" demonstrates that the term has multiple meanings and
connotations. But those who position themselves at the celebration level, atop the rainbow, are
more in sync with what the words intends. Some refer to it as a celebration of love and describe the
feelings of love and unity they had on that day. Others allude to commemorating "where we came
from and what we've already accomplished." This "getting together and being seen" enhances the
positive collective identity of the LGBTQ+ group in general, as articulated by the theory around
cultural events (Enguix, 2009; Jaeger & Mykletun, 2013).
Marianna (QW) “It's a celebration. Its just also a real celebration to celebrate our existence
or so. That sounds very heavy but hey yes.”
As previously indicated, the celebration is a source of strength. For one day, the LGBTQ+ community,
as explained by the interviewees, can celebrate themselves and their identities. The nature of
demonstrations and manifestations can be heavyand serious.Necessary to convey our
disapproval of a scenario or the current state of the planet. However, celebrations can forge ties due
to shared happiness and great experiences (Enguix, 2009, 2017). They view activism
through celebration. The participantsexperiences on the boats foster new friendships and ties that
endure after the event. The joyful environment has enabled people to connect and share their
stories, as I hear from participants. This has had micro-level effects, as will be demonstrated through
personal experiences in Section 3. Tanja explains, It does not always have to be so sour.
Emmanuel (BP) “I think that somewhere in there is also a strength in that happy, in that
cheerful, in that party. It should not always be serious. If it is always serious then People
start to get annoyed.”
Jelle (Com) “the CP is just that one happy moment in the year where being part of the LGBT
community does not have to be about pain. It just has to be about a celebration of love and
of who we are.
There has been a set of individuals who viewed the spectrum holistically and emphasized its
interconnectedness. Each cannot exist without the other.
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John (BP)It is a house of cards. If you pull the INGs and the Netflix’s out of it, then yes, it
will fall as well. Then there will be consequences for the whole system, so to speak, through
the community. Then everything collapses. “
Without the commercial aspect, activism is impossible. This involves not only the activism against
commercialization, but also the activism on the ships. Tanja maintains that everyone may be an
activist.The CP provides a forum for various perspectives and visions and is perceived to be in a
perpetual state of flux. As observed by respondents, the fact that there is so much noise surrounding
it also indicates that there is a great deal of room for movement and possibility to transform it into
something different. They appreciate the fluidity and adaptability of the event, which allows it to
proceed in any way. It is a dynamic event due to the podium offered by the CP for comments,
protests, counter-protests, and criticism.
4.3 The micro level effects of the Canal Parade
The CP will not transform the world by itself, and its wider impact is hard to estimate. Undoubtedly,
it provides a platform for NL and the rest of the globe to engage in a vast array of conversations
(Reuters, 2021). This raises awareness and brings the LGBTIQ+ group to the forefront of public
attention. On a national scale, the CP is featured on television, in the news, in newspapers, on social
media, and on the radio. Respondents report it is difficult to avoid being confronted by it when it
occurs. Internationally renowned, the CP is utilized by the municipality to attract tourists (I
Amsterdam, 2022). Through the use of individual narratives, this study demonstrates the micro-level
consequences of the CP on the lives of individuals and takes little steps toward a more inclusive
4.3.1 The guard and the board member
Denver works for a public institution and explains that some years ago, he took the initiative to raise
the question why XXX was not participating at the CP.
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Denver (BP) “Then I had that conversation with the communications department in response
to that letter, yes, they were actually inclined to say yes. ‘We did talk about it briefly, but we
did not know very well, so we decided to just join the rest of Amsterdam and hoist the
rainbow flag in front of our building’ and thats it, yes, I think so. If you then take the step as
a company to take part in this, then as a company you are also simply saying that it is safe
here, you know. If next year something were to happen to you involving discrimination
against one of the minorities, then as a company you would have some extra explaining to
do, because you were present at the event, you show that it is OK, and then you do
something that was actually not approved.
By participating in the CP, employers believe they can keep their organization accountable for their
statement. With a diversity policy, there is a written commitment from the organizations leadership
to actively promote diversity and inclusion. However, there was no such policy previous to their
involvement with the CP. A different experience may have prompted this growth through the
relationships formed aboard the boat.
Max (BP) “… and then suddenly a colleague of mine and said: Jesus, Ive worked for over 25
years at XXX and today for the first time I have the idea that Im really allowed to be who I
am, and the gentleman was shocked and very moved by this moment and then Andrea
Botchelly, member of the Board of Directors said: Damn it, this can’t be! Not in our
organization!’. This said colleague is now allowed to do his guard rounds as a crossdresser.
Everybody knows him and he has gotten more respect.”
As a result of the board members' participation on the boat and their contact with the colleagues'
experiences, a new bond was established. In response to this experience, they have advocated for a
diversity and inclusion policy and produced a three-year action plan to improve the work
environment. The person concerned revealed his vulnerability to the Board of Directors, which has
the potential to foster cooperation and confidence (Coyle, 2018). This can be interpreted as a
manifestation of the desire to be inclusive and considerate of the minority group in this instance
(Coyle, 2018). The all-inclusive flag is permanently displayed in front of their buildings, and they have
established a pink network with activities throughout the year.
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Halley (BP) “On Coming Out Day, we had handed out baggage tags that said, ‘Don't lose
yourself’. And we organized an online queer Pub quiz which was great with funny questions
like ‘who won the Euro song contest’."
These kinds of activities can generate more opportunities for communication and connection in the
benefit of normalization. Throughout the year, professional networks conduct activities to continue
working on inclusion. Because employees see each other in a new light and work together toward a
common objective, these types of events can foster a stronger feeling of teamwork (Deiratani, 2021;
TeamworkDefinition, 2014). This is also evident from the participants' interviews, in which they
stated that the preparation events, such as the dance classes and other activities, had already built
new friendships. They collaborated toward the event, which in this case reflects the shared
objective. This, coupled with the "pleasant and loving" experiences the participants had throughout
the event, resulted in enduring bonds (Deiratani, 2021; TeamworkDefinition, 2014).
4.3.2 The cultural connection
Indira, an employee at a multinational corporation with Indian ancestry, describes a moment of
connection with two men from the Asian continent while on the boat.
Indira (BP)I remember we did that boat with diversity, so I wore a sari which is the
traditional dress from India. Others were wearing the traditional clothes from somewhere
else, and I still remember that moment when our boat crossed and there were these two
guys, definitely from the Asian continent and definitely from the Indian subcontinent as we
call it. I don't know if they're from India or Pakistan or I don't know from where, but they
were so happy, it showed on their faces. They were two men absolutely in love wearing
Indian clothes and when they saw me on the boat there, I could see the joy on their faces
right. That gave me an extra push that OK you know, given that I'm also Indian, I'm also
coming from a background where this is not safe standing out there and because I had the
luxury to being part of XXX being in the Netherlands it gives such a push or an extra
energizer for people who are not able to do that probably in their own context. So, for me
it's like now given that every time it happens, I'm there and so for me it means a lot
personally as well.”
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Indira and her coworkers provided other examples of how their organization gives and creates room
for emancipation during the focus group discussion.
Dennis (BP) “A colleague from the German and lions network created an LGBT training
internally. She created it herself. It's training about the letters in the LGBTIQ+ alphabet. It
explains a little bit what kind of nuances you have and what is a nonbinary and if you're
bisexual etc. It focuses a lot on the German history of course because it's for Germany but
we are now looking into it and hopefully we can, maybe we are able to change it and to add
from Dutch content to it.”
This can be seen as only a small step in terms of activism. These examples aim to demonstrate a
trend toward transformation in large corporations. Change is gradual, but it would be far slower
without individuals fighting for it as we see in these examples.
4.3.3 The technicians
Change is gradual, but it does occur, as the following testimonial from a company that offers
technical support for street celebrations during Pride week demonstrates.
Nico (Com) “It has opened our eyes, especially if well, as the owner of the company but also
just as people in itself. You also see that what I personally find very valuable is that what it
brings to us as a company every year is also the staff just see how it can be. Not only
communication, but also how people stand in life. Not only the sexual orientation, but also
the whole yes, a bit populist perhaps, but the whole vibe we have there that week is really
very special. For example, we then receive or the techs who receive it, for example at pride
is protest, the team leader who receives a rainbow flag from an employee of the Gay Pride. I
don't know from whom, but who gets such a flag, and they proudly hang it in the office, say
'Look, that's what we got'.”
This story demonstrates the intergroup contact theory, which is utilized in prejudice
reduction programs. Positive personal contact decreases bias against particular categories of people.
The fact that the team leader proudly displays the flag serves as a regular reminder of the positive
experience they had during their work during the Pride week being in touch with the RC, which can
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have a beneficial long-term effect on their perception and can infiltrate their immediate social
network (Everett, 2013). Heckert (2018b) describes a similar concept in his study on coming out,
arguing that "knowing individuals reduces people's fear of the unknown and, hence, reduces
discrimination." This is consistent with the intergroup contact concept. Positive personal
connections and experiences can bring about social change for future generations (Everett, 2013).
4.3.4 The world on a boat
In accordance with the preceding report on dismantling professional prejudice through the public
representation of corporations and officials at the CP, I will now provide an example with Emmanuel.
A government organization organized a boat and invited employees from all over the world to stand
on it to demonstrate that LGBTIQ+ individuals are performing government-related duties
Emmanuel (BP) “One year, we also had an international boat, organized for LGBTIQ+
professionals, i.e., people who work for ZZZ worldwide. People from America and Canada,
someone from Thailand, who was not allowed to wear his uniform, stood on the boat. That
was also a very unique experience and to show that we are everywhere but not everywhere
the ZZZ can take a public statement sharing their community representation and support.”
Other organizations invite foreign activists to participate in the CP on their boats. For many activists,
participation in the Amsterdam CP is a dream and through these organizations, they can achieve
their dream. For many activists, it is impossible to be themselves publicly in their country of birth.
They can become highly emotional as a result of their experiences on the CP and the freedom and
acceptance of the Dutch.
John (BP) “We once had someone, a trans woman from an African country, Ghana or
Burkina Faso. And we are quite strict with how everyone has to be dressed. Everyone had to
wear the same t-shirt because if everyone has the same clothes on, then the performance is
better. We have been working towards this for months and this person, she was wearing a
wig and a dress and was not in the colors of the boat. So, an exception was made for her.
She stood at the front of the boat and was cheered on. What happened behind her on the
boat did not matter. She was just standing there being out and proud and that was
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emotional. Because then she went back to her country where she was only allowed to live as
a woman in secret and yes, for one day her life turned completely around. For those people
standing on the boat, it is incredibly empowering.”
Michael (BP)He is a gay boy who fled Syria and was also in prison in Syria. He has a really
intense story, and his great idol is Anne Frank. So, after every bridge the speaker's chair
went up and then one of those activists was allowed to go up the stairs and he would then
share his dream with the visitors on the sides and after that we celebrated was just to
celebrate that the dream was shared. But when he climbed up in front of the Anne Frank
house, well then, he was crying himself, but also the whole boat was silent. There was a very
intense one, we had a young man from the shelter project from Jamaica who was here to
recover for 3 months from the shelter program but that erm when he was here a dog was
set on fire at his parents' garden gate. Yes, very intense story with a note on it 'we know
your son is gay and it's best he doesn't come back.' So, he went into the illegality from the
shelter project. And all those kinds of stories, but also a girl here from Amsterdam who just
dreams of saying that she will never get the question anymore who the male is and who is
the female in the relationship and those kinds of simple things you know. Activism can be
very large or very small.”
What we see here relates to the necessity of assisting others (Keltner, 2004). These testimonials may
elicit an emotional response from the reader. People who encounter prejudice, abuse, or violent
reactions due to their sexual orientation may feel compelled to defend and assist victims. This
response is known as the compassionate instinct. When we can alleviate someone's suffering, the
brain responds with pleasure which drives us to help (Keltner, 2004). As was previously said, the CP
provides a venue for a variety of events and opportunities to work for liberation and activism on
multiple levels.
4.4 The fields of tension
There is a diversity of fields of tensions surrounding the CP. In the first place, concerns about the
management and leadership. Second, the role of the municipality. Third how the registration fee
creates exclusion. Forth the occupation of queer spaces and finally the tensions within the
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4.4.1 The management and the leadership of Pride Amsterdam
Babette (Com) “…unsafe by the way because everything you say can be used against you. So,
the entire organization is not very safe. Then I can also tell you, you constantly have to be
involved in the political game, because we need them. We also have interests, and we have
to ensure that we look after our interests. On the other hand, I also want to have honest
communication but yes before you know how, you are thrown in front of the bus.”
Boris (Com) “Amsterdam Pride as an organization is good yes, a lot has already been
achieved. There are points for improvement There is a factor that actually reappears
everywhere. That is the direction’s role, who determines a bit like a dictator what does and
what does not happen and who then talks with anyone you want but who totally lost the
connection with his community.”
Tanja (QW) “What I said I can imagine that an organization like Black Pride says ‘yes you
know, you just do your thing. We knocked on the door a few times and we didnt feel
understood. Were not going to explain it to you again. Just find out yourself and we’ll just
organize our own thing’.”
Michael (BP) “Amsterdam gay pride is a is not a very diverse organization at least from what
I see.”
Pride Amsterdam serves as an umbrella organization for the Pride week events and activities (Pride
Amsterdam, n.d.-b). The director is responsible for "recruiting partners, grants, and other financial
income, ensuring the expenditure and management of available resources, and ensuring the
organization's proper functioning in general and the festival's success in particular" (Pride
Amsterdam, n.d.-a). The interviewees distrusted the organization's leadership, which is viewed as
the keeper of the budget for Pride week activities. They considered this to be a powerful position.
Several groups do not feel heard by the organization's leadership, causing friction within the
community to the extent that certain groups will no longer communicate or participate with the
organization. There is acknowledgment that the organization attempts to recognize and react to
criticism and inputs, but only reactivelyand what is needed is “proactivity”. There is a sense that
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the efforts made to listen or react are not genuine. Members of the community view Pride's
orientation as a replication of mainstream society's white cisgender masculine power
dynamics within the Amsterdam RC. It is claimed that a lack of empathy for other minority groups
is due to the lack of diversity within the organization.
Sofie (QW)…with that white cis masculinity, men want to be in charge. They often find it
very difficult to empathize with all those other minority groups within the gay community.
That is actually equal to society. So, as soon as such men are in leadership position then it is
actually self-evident that others don’t have representatives.”
According to Triana’s research (2017), diversity is supported by six pillars: sex, race, LGBTIAQ+,
religion, age, ability, and geographic origin. Such diversity generates organizations with the potential
to comprehend numerous social groups. As a result, the organizations structure does not represent
the six pillars indicated above, and this may contribute in part to the discomfort felt by minority
groups that do not feel heard or seen by the organization. This will be discussed in further depth
Observers from the outside believe that the Pride Amsterdam leadership has a close
relationship with the city. It is perceived that this can lead to license-related partiality when the
municipality decides who organizes the event for a 3-year cycle based on applying organizations.
Pride Amsterdam is well-known by the municipality and has given excellent organizational work over
the past year. This gives the perception of a position of authority, which discourages other groups
from applying for the role of organizer. Similarly, there is a perception that no neutral institution has
a neutral oversight on Pride Amsterdam since the municipality does not accept the duty and position
it holds as the policys producer and facilitator. The municipality cant be approached for questions
and complaints about the foundation and no other institution has been put in place to do so. The
tension described by the interviewees can be summed as follow: there is a lack of trust in Pride
Amsterdam fueled by the lack of diversity in the organization as well as the fear of retaliation from
the director/management, making members of the RC feel unsafe which in turn diminish the
willingness to collaborate. The perceived role of the municipality, which will be explored next,
combined with Pride Amsterdams position creates a strong link between the two tension fields.
4.4.2 Tension between the system and the public space
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The municipal council drafts the Pride policy and are drafting a new version which will be published
in the coming months. The current policy provides the framework for Pride Amsterdam to organize
the Pride week stated as followed (Gemeente Amsterdam, 2011):
Pride Policy In order for this event to retain its now typical Amsterdam character, this policy
provides a framework within which the event must in any event take place. The events
themes are homosexuality and gay emancipation and has a social, sporting and cultural
context. The Amsterdam Gay Pride traditionally lasts a week and consists of a number of
fixed components, namely a boat parade, a number of street and square parties and a
number of cultural, social and sporting activities. The boat parade is an essential part of Gay
Pride. The purpose of the boat parade is to show how broad and diverse the gay community
is in the Netherlands. In addition to boats for celebrating, there are also many boats with a
By reading this text, which is over 10 years old, the presence of identity politics can be observed as
the wording puts a focus on homosexuality and gay emancipation. The language today concerning
the CP and the RC has shifted as explained in the theory through Mesli (2015). Respondents believe
that the municipalitys role is to facilitate the event, but it should not determine the games rules.
Van der Waal & van der Heyden (2019) state in their analysis that the costs for the Pride week have
increased from 350,000 to 1.5 million euros over the past decade. The municipalitiesfunding has
been capped at 250,000 euros. Pride Amsterdam is responsible for more than 80 percent of the
costs (van der Waal & van der Heyden, 2019). A significant portion of the costs are related to the
CP and the local policys stipulations. Therefore, participants view it as the financial obligation of the
municipality to fund the event so that fewer sponsors are required, the event becomes less
commercialized, more accessible to smaller and marginalized groups, and the community regains
John (BP) But that pride is getting bigger. People have no idea of how much money such an
organization comes with and what kind of demands there are being adjusted by the
municipality. just sat in the town hall with a briefing about the safety of the pride that are
really so visible and invisible safety measures are being taken to in a time of the I.S. and so
that some are even being made bomb proof.”
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Magali (QW) “The municipality makes it very difficult for Pride to finance it apart from
commerciality. A lot more money from the city has to go to Prides budget so that all the
boats can participate for free. Not just 3 of them.
Timo (Com) “But the municipality actually says, ‘you have a complaint about the permit well
then you have to go to Pride’. And there I have a discussion with the officials ‘you stay
responsible. Yes, you the municipality because you are the permit issuer.”
In terms of security, the city considers the event to pose a high danger, based on threats made
against it in previous years, as disclosed by a source. At the CP, a large number of diverse security
forces are present. A significant portion of these expenses are funded by Pride Amsterdam. The
municipality expresses its aim and desire to maintain the CP in Amsterdam and utilizes the event to
attract tourists, as the Pride week generates significant revenue for local businesses (Esper & Figini,
2018). The municipality plays a significant part in the events around Pride week and has been cited
as a source of tension in the community. Participants have commented that they do not feel to have
access to the municipality in regard to problems relating to the event and Pride Amsterdam, and
that they miss the municipality's accountability in regard to policy disagreements. The municipality
was unavailable for participation and is conducting its own research. The participants' reiteration of
"Pride is from the community for the community, and the municipality should merely play a
facilitative role" is today viewed as the system which is flowing too much into the public sphere.
4.4.3 Accessibility
As mentioned briefly in section 2, there is a field of tension surrounding the CP's accessibility in
regard to the Pride walk. In relation to the registration price, respondents discussed the entrance of
financially robust company boats compared to marginalized groups. The occupation of queer spaces
related to access fees which wealthy companies can easily pay compared to small LGBTQ+ groups. In
their view, commercialization is increased because of the high costs for participation. Due to this
considerable expense, financially powerful can compete more effectively for parade spots. It is a
commercial event because participation is contingent upon money resources. There are various
categories of participating boats, depending on if participants are joining the parade as a small group
of friends, registration begins at 125€. LGBTQ+ groups can join for between 250and 750. Large
corporations pay over 35,000€ for registration alone and must meet stringent conditions to be
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permitted to participate. In addition to a diversity and inclusion policy, applicants must demonstrate
that they work actively on LGTBQ+ emancipation throughout the year and join the Amsterdam Pride
Business Club. Companies who do not meet these requirements must enhance their LGBTQ+ work
environment (Pride Amsterdam, 2021a). Interviewees think the financial investment makes the CP
accessible to those who can pay and is once again perceived as a means of separating financially
strong and vulnerable groups. Accordingly, interviewees felt that the "lack of access" for small
groups with little financial resources strengthens the power relationships of privilege. Interestingly,
many of the respondents were not aware that there is a “Pride fund” to financially support
marginalized groups to participate with a boat during the CP (Pride Amsterdam, 2021a).
Boris (Com) “Move away from say sponsorship in its current form whereby large
corporations can afford to participate but smaller marginalized groups cannot at all
Tanja (QW)I think what has happened is that the smaller boats have been swallowed up by
the larger boats, so to speak, simply because the larger companies have more money and
can use that money more easily.
In contrast, the majority of respondents emphasize the significance of the Pride walk due to its
accessibility, cheap financial commitment, and excellent demonstration capacity. Respondents state,
"Everyone can walk, so everyone can join". Thus, the Pride walk is considered more inclusive.
Participants believe that the Amsterdam Pride week should place greater emphasis on the Pride
Natalie (QW) “The CP is a party. I think it is and because of that I think that the pride walk
was really less festive than the Parade for example. I think maybe that combined it would be
even stronger. So that it is not just a party on a boat and drinking and I don't know what but
that maybe there should always be a Pride walk next to it.”
The source of friction here is access due to cost which is connected to the frictions around the role
of the municipality in writing the policy and who sets the basis for the costs. According to the
participants, everyone should be able to express pride. The CP fails to achieve this purpose;
however, the Pride walk does. Nonetheless, the Pride walk does not draw the same individuals or
the same number of people as the CP.
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4.4.4 The infiltration of the heteronormative power dynamics
Johannes (BP) “during the gay games in 1998, I felt for the first time how it must feel to be
straight. Suddenly we were the majority. We were the norm and I remember how powerful it
felt. I thought that is how straight people must feel all the time.”
During Pride week, the minority group unites, and the interviewees suddenly feel safe walking hand-
in-hand with their partners. As noted in the discourse analysis, one of the conflicts surrounding the
commercialization stems from the event's mainstreaming and, with it, the invasion of straight
individuals who are not viewed as alleys. These elements introduce heteronormative power
dynamics into the CP. According to respondents, the LGBT person is suddenly no longer surrounded
by other queer people and is once again exposed to the dominant male energy that gropes women's
butts. They agree that not all straight guys are like this, but heteronormative power relations can
create a dangerous environment for queer individuals. Pride cannot control who attends the CP, but
with the current setup, the event has become a spectacle, a copy of King's Day, a party where
straight people can spend an entire day without interacting with a queer person, and this creates
friction and protest to 'reclaim our Pride,' as some activists have stated. It's not that straight people
are unwelcome, and the CP may influence normalcy by the pleasant environment it creates, but
straight people who lack understanding, awareness, and empathy for these power conflicts are
deemed disruptive.
George (BP) “sometimes it feels like it is becoming a party for straight people to look at crazy
gay people.”
Margo (QW) “If the heteros come, then there are those power structures again that limit us
as queers in our space”
Magali (QW) “There are ways to make it a little less out of hand, yes, with all the canals,
party of drunk straights, drugs with techno, that's just not what pride is about, because I
think a lot more people should be able to think along about what Pride means. I don't have
direct advice. But I think they need to seriously listen to what activists have to say.”
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Timo (Com)I really wonder if Tieneke from the province who can go crazy with Truus van
der Hoek one day a year on the Pride. Is that necessary? Do they add something? I don't
think so.”
Tieneke from the province refers to individuals who attend the parade for amusement but have no
ties to the LGBTIQ+ community. They are placed on par with tourists who come for the spectacle
and not to provide support.
Michael (BP) “It is very difficult because it is of course a festive mood and there is alcohol
involved but I once spent a whole afternoon watching someone who was in front of his boat
and got a bit drunk and then jokingly put on a girlfriend's dress and started imitating a gay
person, so you can see. Of course, it was never the idea that it would become a caricature of
This tension field is extremely complex because it is not only connected to heteronormativity, but
also to other power dynamics present in society as explained in chapter 2. It goes against the spirit
of the day and of Pride. This is a component of the CP's development that has led to pushback
among the community. As the following section will demonstrate, an additional layer of white
privilege exacerbates tensions.
4.4.5 The absence of community and the different emancipation processes of the rainbow
As briefly mentioned above, the term rainbow community is not a realistic reflection of the
collective LGBTQ+ minority group felt by the participants. An in-depth investigation of the roots of
the rainbow family concept or the LGBTQ+ community goes beyond the scope of this thesis.
Participants have referred to it as "rainbow family," "rainbow community," "LGBTIAQ+ community,"
"rainbow movement," or "LGBTQ+ movement," among others. The attempt to classify or
characterize individuals who do not conform to the heteronormative binary system of gender
identities is comprehensible. Because it is referred to be a community, a sense of togetherness is
implied, as they are comparable due to the absence of heteronormativity. However, as the following
quotations demonstrate the idea of community is not as straightforward as it is assumed at first
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Michael (BP) “What I sometimes forget myself is that our community we call it community, but
of course there are a lot of groups together that can't really get through one door at all.”
It has been said that the rainbow community is as diverse as the rest of society, if not more so. The
elder generation who battled for liberation in the 1970s and 1980s cannot understand the
challenges of an LGBTQ+ bicultural millennial from the same 'community,' as seen by their divergent
responses. Varied rainbow alphabet groups have different liberation and emancipation needs and
stand at different points in their battle or fight. There is a sense of gender hierarchy reported by
Babette (Com) “…the marginalized groups are heard even less because there is still a lot of white
cis gay men in the way.”
Sofie (QW) “Im in second place I would say in terms of privilege. White gay men have it so easy
that sometimes they just prefer not to participate.”
This is the viewpoint of individuals who observe the absence of inclusion. According to them, the
order of gender is as follows and reflects the gender hierarchy developed by Rubin (2007) as
discussed in chapter 2: First the white cis-gender homosexual guy, then the white cis-gender lesbian
woman. After these two categories come additional minority groups, such as people of color,
transgender individuals, drag queens, etc. Taking a step back and looking outside the group,
respondents report that the white cis gender lesbian woman experiences greater acceptance or
tolerance than any male colleague from the rainbow alphabet. Participants report predominantly
male homophobia. So, the gay and transsexual man faces greater persecution from those outside
the community, yet the 'gay man' is seen as the dominant group within the community (Rush, 2019).
Participants address internal communal problems associated with prejudice, racism, and exclusion.
The differences between identity politics and queer politics have contributed to the escalation of
conflict and division within the Amsterdam community. Black Pride, Colorful Pride, and Reclaim our
Pride oppose Pride Amsterdam. There is the perception of privileged dominant white gay men in the
community who do not listen or give space to other marginalized groups, who have a multifaceted
battle to fight their gender identity, sexual orientation, bicultural status, and, for some, their post-
colonial pain and the pain of rejection from this western society.
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Babette (Com) “Of course a lot also plays in the BIPOC group, which also makes the pain come
up there too. There is now room for that pain from Indonesia, but also from Suriname, you know
for all those things, so that also plays a part, huh. So, there is also a lot of pain and a lot of blame
towards the Dutch towards those white People and especially those white People who now stick
their heads above the cornfield and have always done and now pat themselves on the chest like
'yes I arranged all that thanks you can now celebrate me with pride'.”
Babette discusses pain, specifically the agony of the past. With Black Lives Matter (BLM), it became
evident that there is still a great deal of work to be done to acknowledge the brutality and abuse
that occurred throughout colonial times. Through globalization, societies diversify. Amsterdam is a
majority-minority city, although the "white population" still holds the position of power (Crul, 2016).
Queer individuals of color struggle with acceptability within their cultural community due to their
sexual orientation or identity, and also struggle with acceptance in the larger society due to the
respondents' shared bicultural identities. There is heartache. These community members do not feel
represented during the CP, and they feel that Pride Amsterdam does not provide them with the
necessary room to express themselves and be heard. Certain BIPOC groups no longer demonstrate a
willingness to collaborate nowadays.
Babette (Com) “They don't understand each other and don't listen to each other and are only
concerned with your own interest with your own target group.”
The risk of identity politics highlighted by Heckert (2018) in Chapter 2, is described here by Babette.
When minority groups compete for their own interests, the view for the best interests for all are
Despite the feelings of exclusion, efforts are being made in the community aimed to unite
the various groups through meetings geared to determine what is required to lessen tensions and
re-establish dialogue. Hence, measures are being taken to restore the sense of RC in Amsterdam.
In this chapter, the word choices for describing the CP and its objectives have been
examined. Visible is the generational divide between identity politics and queer activism. The
Spectrum and the discourses around commercialization and politics revealed that the term
commercialization had multiple meanings. The interviews also exposed fields of tensions in which
the complexity of the Pride week and the CP come to life.
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5. Discussion and Conclusion
The CP is viewed in contrasting ways depending on the positionality of the individuals. The
inclusion of corporations and businesses is seen by some as a prime example of pink washing, while
it is seen by others as the logical result of ensuring the CP's financial viability. The CP is viewed as a
gathering to celebrate love, a stage for political discourse, a commercial endeavor, or any
combination of these. This multifarious feature of the CP is also mirrored in the definitions and
objectives that the participants have provided for the event, which allows for adaptability and
modification. The CP makes room for queer visibility and occupation of the public realm. The
platform it gives activism, whether pro- or anti-CP, recognition at the national and international level
has been highlighted as its greatest asset. The majority of participants agree that Pride Parades must
continue in order to raise awareness of the LGBTQ+ community's struggle for liberation and equality
in heteronormative society like the NL. In the context of Amsterdam, it is important to consider the
Pride Walk and the Canal Parade in order to strike a balance between the well-known, spectacular
parade on boats and the easily accessible protest walk. Through the participants, it has become clear
that there is a reproduction of a heteronormative gender hierarchy in which white, cisgender (gay)
men stand at the top of the pyramid within the RC. In addition to the perception of masculine
domination within the community, a generational struggle between the more recent queer activists
and the older gay liberationists who embraced identity politics has been noted. The queer activists
of the 2020s have made the decision to put on the agenda international topics like climate change,
low wages, and racial discrimination that are related through but not exclusively by capitalistic
exploitation. Assimilation, as advocated for by the LHBT liberation movement, is not what they seek;
they want radical acceptance of difference. The CP doesn't have a significant impact on this activism,
but it can be used to bring up these concerns on the stages it sets up in the public realm that day
because of its popularity. According to participant testimonies about the cross-dressing guard and
the rainbow flag for the technicians, the CP has an impact on emancipation on a personal level.
Being praised for who they are is a unique experience for several international boat passengers who
describe it to be empowering.
The foundation Pride Amsterdam, the city of Amsterdam, the accessibility of the pride walk
and the CP, the existence of heteronormative power dynamics originating from straight visitors at
the CP, and the absence of community within the RC were five areas of tension that were made
clear. The domains of tension are connected to one another in specific ways and exhibit complexity
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on multiple levels. It is possible to make distinct recommendations for each tension field. Pride
Amsterdam, the municipality of Amsterdam, and the community might use this visualization of the
tension fields to work towards a more effective relationship. Pride Amsterdam should take the time
to contemplate their public image and consider where the modern Amsterdam RC is standing. The
generational divide associated with the new agenda for activism should be acknowledged, and the
suffering of marginalized groups should be heard and addressed in accordance with their
requirements, with these groups at the center. If there is a wish to establish unity within the RC, a
focus on community building could be considered, along with acceptance of the diversity among the
rainbow letters and the resulting lack of oneness. The municipality could consider their function as
policy creator and the rules this entails for event planning. Part of the blame for the
commercialization in recent years has been placed on their supervisor role in preparing the CP.
Numerous participants cited the Pride Walk as an effective antidote to the CP. What the CP lacks,
the Pride walk provides: simple accessibility, inclusiveness, visibility, and activism. It has not been
identified as a significant frictional dynamic, but the necessity to improve the importance and
position of the Pride Walk and reduce the size of the CP has been expressed. The Pride Walk may
take on the role of a protest, while the CP could end the week with a party. In this regard, the Pride
Walk could be expanded, while the CP could be reduced. According to the participants, the Pride
Walk would have more potential if it began in a new part of the city each year in order to broaden its
visibility and statement. It would be interesting to study the effects of the Pride Walk in terms of
public space occupation and visibility as well as the number of people it reaches and the public
debate it provokes, in order to compare the data with the CP and use the outcome to adjust both
More research could be conducted on commercial partners and the effects of the CP on
them. Also, incorporating uninvolved groups in the study could provide insight into how the CP
creates a forum for public discussion around the event, but also around LGBTQ+ liberation and
queer activism, allowing for a deeper understanding of its consequences. A greater diversity would
have been intriguing, given that many of the frictions stem from the division of the subgroups.
Unfortunately for this study, they were unavailable, but they could be the target group for further
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7. Annexes
Annex 1 Stakeholder review
On 16.6. I presented the Thesis to the Pride Amsterdam Board prior to their Brainstorm session
around the future of Pride Amstedam. The following board members where there:
Frans van der Avert
Joyce Priem
Geneviève Lieuw
Dinah Bons
Glenn Helberg
Huib Wurfbain
Souad Boumedien
And parts of the Pride Amsterdam team:
Lucien Spee de Castillo Ruiz
Anita Beek
Marc Bartels
BeyonG Veldkamp
Lars Brunnhoff
Patrick Vleeshouwers
The thesis presentation would serve as a starting point for their brainstorming session. The
presentation was a success. Following the meeting, the various fields of tension around the event
sparked a spirited debate with comments and questions. The focus on the foundation's
management and leadership, as well as the absence of community, sparked the majority of the
debates and proved to be the most difficult to address. Management and leadership were found as a
large portion of the disputes as a result of the investigation. The lack of a safe space and room for
other oppressed groups to be heard was investigated further. This was the most difficult aspect for
me because it felt confrontational, and I was worried that the team would take the findings too
personally, obscuring the opportunity for change that the research revealed. The role of the
municipality was also reviewed, and the board expressed gratitude for the clarity with which it was
presented. The lack of community remained a question. Is it more important to establish a sense of
community or to tolerate the lack of one? Prior to acceptance based on recognized tactics, I believe
that community building should be undertaken. In summary, the presentation went well, and it
appeared that the board was incorporating the findings into the upcoming talks.
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Annex 2 Anonymous participation list
Collaboration to CP
Street party
Infrastructure CP
No Member
Infrastructure CP
No Member
Street party
No Member
Street party
Street party
No Member
Infrastructure CP
No Member
No Member
Infrastructure CP
from where
HER app
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VU Network
VU Network
Bar Buka
HER app
Personal Network
VU Network
on boats
international NGO
No Member
No Member
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Social institution
Social institution
No Member
public institution
No Member
public institution
public institution
No Member
public institution
No Member
public institution
public institution
public institution
No Member
No Member
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Annex 3 - The individual Spectra
In total, in 31 interviews the spectrum was filled. Here are the individual spectra.
Spectrum commercial partners
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, important
for visibility
Country /
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Spectrum Queer Women
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Spectrum Participating Parties
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Depending on
what boat.
Exp Moroccan
In general
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pre and post event
and vision
Visitors on the side
On the boat
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ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
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On the first Saturday of July, Madrid hosts the State LGTB (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Pride Demonstration with participants from LGTB activist groups, trade unions, political parties, NGOs and entrepreneurship. It involves around one million people and generates a profit of around 110 million euros. The participation of commercially sponsored floats along with the large influx of tourists that visit Madrid feed the discussions on the commercialization of the event and on the relationship between neoliberalism, identity and protest. These debates refer to the old tensions between critical activism and assimilationist activism. Tis article is based on a continued ethnographic fieldwork that combines participant observation, digital ethnography and in-depth interviews. We propose that the tensions between protest, activism, market and spectacle can be productive-as the Spanish LGTB movement has proved- and can create a new landscape of inclusive, hybrid and vindicating identity conceptions.
???In Defense of Identity Politics??? analyzes the uses to which radical feminism, gay and lesbian liberation, and sexual radicalism put identity politics during the 1970s and early 1980s. It seeks to reinterpret queer theory and politics as the continuation rather than the reversal of those movements. Their identity politics was not typically essentialist, and queer theory, despite its claims, largely re-activated and expanded the constructivist models of gender and sex it inherited from earlier radical, identity-political movements. To counter the equation of identity politics with essentialism (Diana Fuss, Judith Butler), the first chapter analyzes the writings of early radical feminists (Ellen Willis, Jo Freeman, Anne Koedt, Kate Millett, Ti-Grace Atkinson, Gayle Rubin), gay and lesbian liberationists (Carl Wittman, Radicalesbians, Martha Shelley, Dennis Altman), and French materialist feminists (Nicole-Claude Mathieu, Colette Guillaumin, Christine Delphy, Monique Wittig). It reconstitutes the anti-essentialist definitions of sexuality and gender which those writers formulated within structuralist, Marxist, Freudo-Marxist, and materialist frameworks. In Chapter Two, a reinterpretation of the writings of Audre Lorde, Barbara Smith, the Combahee River Collective, Cherr??e Moraga, and Gloria Anzald??a refutes the notion, promoted by recent proponents of queer of color critique (Roderick Ferguson, Judith Halberstam, Rinaldo Walcott), that women of color feminists in the 1970s criticized identity politics. Actually, they invented it. Their politics of difference conduced not to the abolition but to the multiplication of identity political standpoints. Chapter Three recovers the history of The Eulenspiegel Society, the Society of Janus, Gay Male SM Activists and Samois, examining the emergence of sadomasochist political movements in the United States. This instance of identity politics is best conceived as what Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe call an ???articulation???: a discursive and political transformation that has the effect of unifying, redefining, and radicalizing pre-existing social (medical) identities. The concluding chapter confronts the hostility of contemporary queer theorists (Siobhan Somerville, David Eng, Jasbir Puar) as well as feminists (Bell Hooks) to drawing analogies among different oppressions. Such hostility fails to recognize the productivity of what Laclau and Mouffe call ???equivalences??? among struggles. Analogy turns out to be a crucial tool for radical democratic politics.