AMSTERDAM–The Dutch Caribbean was represented at Saturday’s Amsterdam Canal Parade with a boat carrying the theme “My Pride, My Family, Our Pride,” which called for the recognition of alternative family ties.
Wearing T-shirts with the abbreviation LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer and Inter-sex) in combination with the word Dad, Mom, Son or Sis, the 120 participants on the boat danced, waved and sang their way through the Amsterdam canals, witnessed by several hundred thousand people.
This is not the first time the Dutch Caribbean participated in the Canal Parade, a highly popular event that is considered an expression of freedom for people of all backgrounds and cultures, despite their sexual orientation.
In 2015, the One Kingdom, One Love boat, organised by Dushi and Proud even won first place. In 2016, the float of the Dutch Caribbean organisation Foundation Ocan won one first prize in the category “best statement” with its theme dedicated to the victims of the June 12 shooting in the Orlando gay club Pulse. This year, the boat with 25 participants from the Dutch Caribbean won third prize in the category “Best Representation” of the central theme “This is my Pride.”
The “Dutch Caribbean” float was the result of hard work and dedication by three initiative-takers, all “island children,” who were set on having the Caribbean represented at the Canal Parade: Angelo Tromp, Gijs Stork and Raisa Sambo. They set up the 3 Layers Foundation for Equality.
“We decided to continue the initiative because we found it very important that we were there. It was a great experience, and we will definitely put forward a good plan to participate next year,” said co-organiser Tromp.
The theme of the boat “My Pride, My Family, Our Pride” dedicated attention to alternative family ties in modern times, and the recognition and acceptation of LGBTQI families. The coming-out of LGBTQI’s also means a big change for their family, a situation that can cause much tension, and which necessitates a new relation to each other and to the outside world.
On Saturday’s float were an Aruban lesbian married couple with their children. One young man had brought his parents and grandmother on board. Besides participants from the Dutch Caribbean, there were people from countries such as the Netherlands, Germany, France and England.
Choreographer Kevin Gumbs from Aruba with St. Maarten roots was in charge of the design of the float which was decorated as a playpen filled with some 3,000 colourful balls, symbolising family ties. Participants on the boat lifted the balls which quite a few times were thrown at the enthusiastic spectators who danced and sang along. Here and there an Aruba and Curaçao flag were waved in support.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/68323-dutch-caribbean-at-canal-parade