Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Amsterdam Canal Pride Meet

Hiya! Lis here! I've taken over the blog with a special post, now that Janna is lying in the sun! 

A while back Janna send Leontine and author Blaine D. Arden an e-mail to meet up. Not just to meet up at any place either but at the annual Amsterdam Canal Pride. We all agreed it would be a wicked good idea and I had my calendar marked. Unfortunately, Janna came to the realization that she and her hub had booked a holiday to the lovely warm and sunny Greece at the same time. That didn’t stop us, however, so the date was still on with the promise to send Janna many a picture. Only two days before the big event, Leontine realized she was not feeling too well to be able to meet up. So two man down, Blaine and I still decided to go ahead with the meet. And we both had no regrets about that at all.

History time

For those who have never been to the Amsterdam Canal Pride or have never even heard of it, a little history. The Amsterdam Gay Pride is an annual event held in the first week of August, dating back to 1996. The origins of the Amsterdam Gay Pride date back to the seventies and to an annual event called the “Roze Zaterdag” (Pink Saturday). For those who are interested, there is a whole history on Wikipedia.

The Canal Pride is actually the highlight of a week focused on gay culture that involves meetings, shows, cultural events, dances that spans everything from cinema’s to churches. (There was one church in the city centre with a big pride flag on the outside of the church!).

Every year the pride week has a theme and this year it was “On the Move.”

The Meet

Blaine and I agreed to meet up at the Starbucks at Amsterdam Central Station and arriving there, it; was clear something big was going on and even the NS (The Dutch Railways) were in on it with pink balloons and posters everywhere. Despite me having my issues with the NS, it was a very nice iniative.

After a short wait, Blaine showed up in all her glory and it was on. We were talking non-stop while walking through Amsterdam, giving Blaine an abbreviated tour as she’d never been to Amsterdam. Of course I took her through the “Amsterdamse Wallen” – the hooker/prostitute neighborhood of Amsterdam with the window prostitution and the many outrageous sex shops.

All the while we were talking like we’ve been meeting up for years. Talking books, authors, reviews, hot man and what not.

After some searching we found a relatively good space in between thousands of people on the docks. It’s hard to explain how full and busy it was and how many different people were lining the canals. There was such a variety of people. From families with children to gay couples to leather bears to teenagers to friends on a day out. It’s amazing!

From 14.00 the boats took the route from the beginning of the Prinsengracht at the Westerdok harbor on to the Amstel River and passing several Amsterdam landmarks to the Oosterdok.

Blaine and I were waiting patiently with our cameras at the ready and still talking a mile a minute until the boats arrived. As the pictures show there was a great variety of boats. Some extremely flashy to more conservative. There was music, dancing, feather, leather and skimpy underwear.

Highlights were:

  • A boat with Turkish people on it. It’s a very closed culture so for them to have their own boat with Turkish flags is a big thing
  • The boat with people from the Ministry of Defense
  • The Gay Escort boat. What can I say? Only in Holland!
  • Willy’s Sex Shop boat with a hot guy in few clothes in a great big Martini glass.

Despite the occasional shower, Blaine and I had an awesome time. It was great to see the Canal Pride for real this time, instead of on the TV and pictures. It’s definitely an event you have to have seen at some point. It’s amazing to have so many people supporting the gay culture in one place and having so much fun at the same time. We stayed almost until the end, but had to leave because of cramped legs and full bladders.

Though I have to say… what on earth was the guy in the skimpy white underwear thinking? That was soooooooooo a no no. As were the guys in the wrestle outfits. We really didn’t need to see your trapped hard on! ;-)

Link to the English website of the Amsterdam Gay Pride. The site also contains more pictures along with background information.

I made a short movie with my camera to give you an impression of one of the boats


  1. Oh wow. That looks so cool. My what a big hose you have Mr. Man on the Boat. LOL that video was cute too. We don't have so many floats in our parade, more people walking which is kind of boring, unless they are mostly naked then not so bad. :-)

    Glad you guys had a fun time.

    1. hahaha yeah and he sure knew how to play with it!

      Thanks Tam! It was a blast! At some point you have to come over with to join us!

  2. Absolutely loved your post, Lis! I wish I could've been there with you girls, but well, Greece isn't too bad either. ;)
    Maybe next year!

    1. Thanks and you're welcome!
      Next year it is!

  3. Sounds fun :D I am glad you had a great time

  4. Definitely looks a little more risque than Twin Cities Pride! :) Glad you had fun!

    1. I don't know about the Twin Cities parade, but this sure was a lot of fun!

  5. how cool! There is nothing like that around here thanks for sharing your fun

    1. You're welcome! We had lot of fun!

      There are a lot more pictures, but I haven't sorted through them yet!

  6. Thank you SO much Lis! The city where I live is hopefully starting up a Pride week next year, culminating in a parade. I'm definitely hoping to go and show my support!

  7. Ladies, it looks like you had an awe-to-the-some time and next year I'm so going to be there!!!


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