|The Amsterdam gay scene
The Pig’s gay guide for straight people, homos and lesbians”
Alexander the great? Gay without a doubt. Leonardo Da Vinci? Out of the closet. Tchaikovsky? Faggot.
Of course there have been many gay people throughout the ages, albeit openly or not. In more recent times famous names like Elton john, George Michael and Ellen DeGeneres or movies such as ‘Brokeback mountain’ have somewhat paved the way for social acceptance of gays and lesbians. Unfortunately homosexuality is often still a touchy issue, although countries such as Spain, Canada, South Africa and Belgium have taken big steps by legalizing same sex marriage.
Although famous for many other things, the number one gay country is still The Netherlands, with Amsterdam arguably being the gay capital of the world. The gay community is so socially integrated, that it is difficult to distinguish a gay / lesbian 'style and scene' that differs from Amsterdam's own traditional tolerance and acceptance. Gay people can marry and even adopt children in this country.
Whether you agree with these things or not, they do make for an interesting culture in Amsterdam for both gay and straight people. Actually, besides the traditional attractions, we believe a visit to Amsterdam isn’t complete without at least briefly having seen this side of Amsterdam! Some places are right in your face, while others are completely unknown to outsiders, but there’s something for everyone if you’re willing to look for it.
Walk through the ‘Reguliersdwars straat’ close to Rembrant plein, or even visit one of the popular gay bars there such as ‘Arc’, ‘April’ & ‘Downtown’, for an altogether different Experience. The street even has the only gay coffee shop of Amsterdam called ‘The Others’.
There’s more to be found in the Utrechtse straat, with restaurant Huyschkamer opposite famous gay club ‘Backdoor’, but café ‘Lellebel’ must be a main attraction, with a drag queen karaoke show every Tuesday.
The Warmoesstraat is home to those who love leather, where clubs and cafes such as ‘Argos’, ‘Cockring’, ‘Dirty dicks’ and ‘The Eagle’ compete for leather clad guys every night.
There’s a special gay and lesbian information booth near the Anne Frank House called ‘Pink Point’, and close by you’ll find the homo monument, which commemorates all who have been persecuted because of their sexual orientation. In August the whole city even turns gay for a weekend with the gay canal pride festival, which is a reason for itself for anyone, gay or straight, to visit Amsterdam.
Gay, lesbian or straight, all we say is be happy about it, and while you’re in Amsterdam, do look for this part of Dutch culture & have a gay old time!
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