Back from that other gay capital

I gotta say, it’s a little weird seeing commercials in English again. But despite the many differences between home and The Netherlands, where I’ve been chillin’ for the past week, two of my favorite things are popular both here and there: homos and bikes.

All their bikes are cruisers and nobody wears helmets but the rain comes down just as hard and I spent a couple days shivering while riding along the North Sea. Their seaside towns are remarkably like Cannon Beach although there was a weird little Atlantic City type town with a huge casino on a pier over the water.

But as usual I digress. This is the gay blog not the bike blog and, although I wish I had energy to experience all the gay things Amsterdam had to offer there were way too many to even dream of catching everything. I never did make it to what appears to be the biggest lesbian dance club You II, but that’s because I got what seemed to be more queer and interesting options from one of the creators of my absolute favorite lesbian magazine Girls Like Us. (Thanks Jessica!) But I did make it to an adorable little Brown Cafe in the Jordaan area called the Saarein that is Amsterdam’s oldest lesbian bar. The next day we headed over to a special Friday night Jessica recommended at Cafe Sappho but we didn’t stay terribly long since it was as tiny and crowded and as impossible to sit or get a drink as Booty used to be back in the day when it was at Porky’s. There seemed to be tons more lesbian, mixed and gay clubs but by Saturday night I could barely walk and had to get up at 4am for an early flight. I should have just stayed up I know but what can I say. I’m getting old…

But though the nightlife might be similar the Dutch are actually much more progressive in the legal rights of queer people. So we had to make the pilgrimage to the Homomonument. The first monument to honor the struggles of gay people during the 2nd world war it went up in 1987, a time when US gay people had very few rights. There’s actually 3 different pinkish triangles in the area so here’s a couple pics from our visit. And if you get the urge to visit this queer canal city the good news is you haven’t even missed their gay pride celebration yet, which takes place in August instead of the our usual June events. So that’s reason enough to keep Pride going all summer long.

One of the 3 parts of the monument.

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