Rotterdam BIJ1 joined the protest during the Rotterdam Pride, making a statement against racism and nationalism during Pride.
We fully support the activists of 'Resist Their Regnbow' because we too believe the original values and importance of Pride can not and should not be forgotten. We're still not there. Not everyone is allowed to be who they are.
It's extremely toxic that parts of the community are confronted with hate and intolerance during their own Pride.
The Pridewalk was started a few years ago by the Rotterdam youth connected to 'Hang Out 010'. It was formed from the lgbtqi+ community to show pride in who they are. That's where its' strength was found, people coming together to show their pride. The council decided more needed to happen, so they took over and without the community having a say, started to form Pride after their own vision.
Over the last few years, we've seen Pride change. The original concept is as good as gone. Where once it was a day about tolerance, equality, and pride, now it has become a commercial event where companies who don't actively work on these values, get to promote their products for a week and take up all the space.
As if that isn't bad enough, Rotterdam Pride has created a space for an intolerant group that doesn't believe in equality, the Dutch Gayservatives. now called 'The Roze Leeuw' (The Pink Lion). A group of white, far-right men who actively blame violence upon the lgbtiq+ community on Muslims. They also speak out against men who 'act feminine'.
Of course good things are happening too but we can't look away from the fact the original message of Pride is nowhere to be found. That's why we refused to walk along and instead sided with the protesters to support their goal of equality and safety.
It's time we look back at the origins of Pride and start going back to the essence: Pride as a protest and part of the battle for an inclusive society.