Amsterdam Pride 2022! Bucket List Pride #1
As many of you who have seen my Bucket List right here, I got to live one out. I sat down and Booked my trip to Amsterdam Pride. 2022 was the right time; I was older and had a little more income and had the comfort of knowing that I have traveled there before (for a 3-day trip after the Royal Wedding). Add on the fact that I have taken many international trips ALONE, including those to locations where English may not be spoken enough to make even ordering lunch at McDonald’s an easy task.
I was also able to take the time to contrast Amsterdam Pride to Curacao Pride, a Dutch Colony in the Southern Caribbean that has a Pride that I was able to visit 3 times in my life. As would be expected, I can definitely see the influence that Amsterdam has on Curacao Pride, and therefore, even though it was years later that I saw at my recent trip.
One of the first events that I took in during Amsterdam Pride was the Pride Walk.” Pride Walks are amazing and it is something I wish they would add to US Prides. A Pride Walk is like a Pride Parade except everyone joins! We walk beside floats playing music, celebrating different LGBTQ Groups, Clubs, Bars, and Lounges. And you get a good chance to feel a part of the event instead of just a bystander. The major difference is there are no giveaways; no candy, magnets, buttons that are thrown out to the crowd by major companies, but it also means that the event is less corporate sponsored. So it does allow for a more politics to be a part of the event as there are less chances of a major company speaking out against a particular group that may want to increase corporate taxes or change environmental laws that may effect their business practices, etc!
Back to the Pride Events though, in the case of Amsterdam Pride, our Pride Walk started at Dam Square, where we started with a few speeches; that were oddly enough in English so I could take them in as much as the people from the Netherlands. After that, we had a drumline that started the Pride Walk, and we began the walk from Dam Square to Vondelpark, where another Pride Event would be taking place. A 3.1 km walk through the city of Amsterdam with music playing and watching folks who lived on the route or dropped by to watch the celebration of Pride was a great start to the 10 days that I would be in Amsterdam, but the nearly 2-mile walk in the heat was a lot; even in the hat and sunglasses to block out that sun! But the crowd maybe all the much better.
Once we made it to VondelPark, the party really started. From the Music really getting started from one of the floats, to the dancing and reverie of everyone who was just happy to make it to the next stage of the celebration. As you walked through the park, it would also be the first time that you encountered the Zero Flags Project display, which is a project that is a countdown to when we have Zero Flags of countries where homosexuality is considered illegal. As of Pride, we have 71 to go! Sadly, in those 71, the penalty can range anywhere from 2 years in prison all the way to life in prison or death, not to mention needing to live in the shadows of culture and the world.
VondelPark, to someone who lived in New York City for a few years, reminds me so much of Central Park. A large park in the middle of the city that somehow seems to have a major disconnect from the City, due to amount of nature you see there versus in the city around it! Although much smaller than Central Park, it does still host the Pride Park celebration as well. It is a great way to experience Pride in the great outdoors, dance, sing or hum for those of us that are vocally a mess!