BLAMSTERDAM!

A blog about (hidden) Amsterdam

Why is Amsterdam Pride in August?

2021 was the 25th anniversary of the renowned Pride Parade through Amsterdam’s canals. But why does Amsterdam, whose mayor performed the world’s first legal gay marriage in April of 2001, celebrate in August when everyone else celebrates on the last Sunday in June? Unsurprisingly, it’s all about history.

The Stonewall Uprising – which began in the early hours of Sunday, June 28, 1969 – was a turning point in the modern gay rights movement. Led by trans women of color, LGBT+ people in New York City fought back against police harassment and inspired LGBT+ people around the globe to fight to be treated like human beings. In the years that followed, LGBT+ communities worldwide arranged marches on the anniversary of Stonewall, which established the tradition of celebrating LGBT+ Pride during the last week in June.

Amsterdam Pride 2019 on the Prinsengracht

In the Netherlands, LGBT+ rights groups turned this into a deeply local day of action, Roze Zaterdag (Pink Saturday). It took place in a different Dutch city each year and consisted of events aimed at changing the political landscape and confronting each city with the humanity of LGBT+ Dutchies. It was part of the successful campaign to bring about political change by making it feel like LGBT+ people were part of mainstream Dutch society. It meant, however, that the Netherlands had a weekend of political action, not one of celebration.

Enter the Gay Games. In 1998, LGBT+ athletes and celebrants from around the world flocked to Amsterdam for the Gay Games. To energize the city and lay the social groundwork for the Gay Games, organizers created a boat parade through the canal belt in 1996 and 1997. The Games created so much energy and joy that the organizers decided to carry the spirit forward with a boat parade the following year. And thus, Amsterdam’s annual August Pride Parade was born.

Watch our story about Amsterdam Pride!

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Public Group Walking Tour

Socially Distanced Storytelling Walk

Forget canals and piles – Amsterdam is a city built on stories. Some of its most interesting, though, have been overlooked by history. On this socially distanced tour, we stroll through the spacious Plantage neighborhood and stop to hear the untold stories of Amsterdam’s layered history.

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Amsterdam theater arch
Public Group Walking Tour

LGBT+ History Storytelling Walk

When the Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize gay marriage, four couples were married by the Mayor of Amsterdam. But did you know that the city’s LGBT+ history stretches back to the medieval ages?

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Private Group Walking Tour

Customized Private Storytelling Walk

See Amsterdam through the stories of the hidden badasses who helped create it. You choose one or several of the themes: women, Jewish people, LGBT+ people or BIPOC. You can also ask for an interest area, such as artistic, academic, leaders or warriors. The tour can be up to three hours and customized by pick-up/drop-off location.

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