LGBT+ events, they are still necessary to this day. Yet over the years there seems to have been a growing backlash against both the organizations and what they stand for. A change is underway, but where it will lead remains the big question.
The Amsterdam Canal Parade, the international symbol of Dutch acceptance, is received with mixed feelings by an increasing portion of the LGBT+ community. It has both a positive effect by increasing visibility, and a negative side by the commercialization of the rainbow community. Something that various interest groups had been afraid of for some time. In addition, pride events such as the Amsterdam Canal parade are usually run by one party. One body that makes all the choices regarding the activities and the entire decoration of the event. This ensures that even though the event stands for acceptance, the threshold for participating as an organization or small company is extremely high.
These are several points of criticism that have attracted the attention of the municipality of Amsterdam. They have even started an investigation to see how this could be changed in the future. These are issues that not only Amsterdam is struggling with, but all of the Netherlands. At many LGBT+ events there is the idea that things need to change, the need for these events in such heady times is obvious. How to do this remains a big question with a clear increase in polarization in our society.
Another good example of an event that is doing its utmost to be inclusive to the LGBT+ community in a progressive way is Milkshake. Milkshake is a festival for everyone, with an emphasis on inclusion and acceptance. Something we also clearly noticed when we went there to take pictures. We then received feedback from the organization that they were incredibly interested in images that emphasized the diversity of the visitors. From people of color to transgenders all diversity should be celebrated.
This is a good development let there be no doubt about this. Yet this also creates an interesting effect. Indeed, the largest group of visitors to Milkshake seems to be the white homosexual male. With the desire to show precisely the diversity of the festival visitor and to emphasize this, don't you get a forced perspective? This could raise the question whether what you see on social media of the LGBT+ event is representative of what was actually there and what do we think of that?
The question we are now faced with is what LGBT+ events should look like in the future. Who is going to organize them and how can we as a rainbow community make these events more accessible? Only then can everyone who cares about the safety and future of the LGBT+ community actually participate.