Dutch Gay Pride held in Hilversum
HILVERSUM. In keeping with the tradition of organising Dutch Gay Pride in a
different Dutch town or city each year this year's Roze Zaterdag
("Pink Saturday") was held in Hilversum, the media capital of the Netherlands.
In nice, fairly sunny weather some 20,000 (according to police estimates) gays
and lesbians gathered on Hilversum's horse-track for the 1 1/2 hour march
through what turned out to be mainly the outskirts of Hilversum and back again.
Compared with last year's Europride in Amsterdam few floats had joined, only a
handfull of organisations presenting themselves. On the racetrack however
informationstands from just about every organisation that has anything to do
with Dutch gay life was present, and this, together with the possibility to
engage in outdoor activities created a pleasant and relaxed athmosphere. The
fact that there were far too few toilets and prices for (a narrow range of)
food and drinks were considered high could not dampen the cheery mood of the
crowd. After the parade it was time for musical performances and the handing
out of the award for "the best info-stand", which was won by the The Hague
police force because of "the cute policemen and -women" and the possibility to
have your picture taken on a police horse or motorbike. In the evenings several
parties were organised attracting less people than expected. On local Hilversum
radio, which had reported on the day's events extensively, straights gave their
opinion :"Very nice, but when those scary leather guys came I took my kids away",
"We shopkeepers always suffer when there's a demonstration, why don't they have
their parade in Amsterdam, we don't want 'that sort of thing' here", showing
that even in tolerant Holland it's still necessary to show our presence. Next
year's Roze Zaterday will be held in the port city of Rotterdam.
National Gay and Lesbian Movement Appoints New Director
AMSTERDAM. Lauretta Spoelman (31) has been appointed officemanager of the
COC-N.V.I.H. (National Dutch Gay Movement), succeeding Anja van Kooten-Niekerk,
who resigned from the post in januari after having been on sick-leave since
september 1994. The official reason given at the time was that she did not agree
with reorganisation plans and had decided to leave of her own accord after
having been in office since 1989, but according to some she suffered from
burn-out. COC-chairman Cees van Wijk at the time said the subsidies for the post
of officemanager, created with the financial help of the culture-ministry had
been cut drastically, leaving the COC no option but to cut the position.
Anja van Kooten-Niekerk succeeded in making the COC-N.V.I.H. more attractive to
non-socialist members but was critisised for not attracting substantially more
than its present 9,500 members. Laurette Spoelman has been working as an
art-director and has held a managerial position within the Christian trade union.