In dit nummer lees je alles over Amsterdam en Antwerp Pride, interviewen we Bob the Drag Queen én vertellen we je alles wat je moet weten over PrEP.
221 Columns Jennifer Hopelezz Gay sex in the city Party On The weakness of love Happy Gay Pride! Or rather Happy LGBTQQIAA Pride, not to forget anyone. It’s Pride season again and I wish our readers happy gay holidays wherever they are. T his year’s celebrations looked for a while to be in danger of being overshadowed by the horric massacre in the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando. Being one of the owners of a nightclub in Amsterdam, Club Church, that really hit home. And we did get lots of anxious questions about our security. Some customers went so far as to advise us to remodel our entrance, have security agents continually rove the club, only allow pin payments so everyone is traceable and introduce ID checks with full body searches. Now I imagine full body searches would have some fans, not sure about the other measures, though. We also received comments like ‘Do you take extra precautions or do you let everyone in, under the motto “we don’t discriminate”. Since yesterday I do discriminate, under the motto “self preservation”’. Not too sure if we should ditch Article 1 of the Dutch constitution quite so fast. Of course, we have to be cautious, most of us are to some extent. When I strut over the Leidseplein on a drunken Saturday night, I have my eyes in the back of my well-coiffured head as well. And as a club owner we do take extra safeguards for our public’s safety. But the likelihood that you get run over by a beer bike on your way to the club is about a thousand times higher than any sort of attack. In spite of what happened in America, we’re not going to allow one criminal to make us give up the freedoms we have fought so long for. We’re not going to retreat back into a barricaded closet. We will take precautions, but we won’t be cowered. Like Baz Luhrmann said in Strictly Ballroom ‘A life lived in fear is a life half-lived’. In the week after the attack there was a quickly organized meeting with Mayor Van der Laan, heads of Police and Justice and the gay community. At the meeting the Mayor put it best: ‘During Pride we celebrate our freedom and we won’t let it be taken away from us just like that.’ Hear hear! So party on, let’s celebrate our freedom and let’s not succumb to fear and division. ‘Emotions is all we have!’ That was the last phrase of Harvey Keitel’s character in Youth before he jumped from a balcony to his death betrayed by the bitch he had admired played by Jane Fonda. The more I talk about the physical part of intimacy in my articles, the more I realize how much I must chip in my two cents about the big elephant in the room: that very favorite topic about which songs are composed, lms are shot and books are written. The primal and unavoidable emotion the best of us sometimes hate to have! A creepy thought went through my head recently when a friend of mine told me how, in his opinion, 90 percent of people do not express their feelings to the person they like. Whether that scary percentage is true or not, it’s awful to realize how some choose to hide their emotions for the fear of being humiliated, heartbroken or inconvenienced. Being the cupid’s unassuming victim a long time ago in the past, I remember eating myself from the inside afraid to express my feelings for one guy. He did reject me after I nally found the courage to tell him how I felt and yet the devastating feeling that came after (and lingered for several months) paled in comparison with self-loathing while I didn’t dare express myself to him. Subconsciously, I had felt that that very self-loathing would linger much longer if I chose to be a coward and not act according to how I felt. Rejection isn’t a picnic, and the more you like a person the longer your heart remains broken if the feelings are unrequited. And yet according to research ‘not expressing how I felt for someone’ scores very high with old people when asked if they regret something from the past. Thinking that it would be the end of the world if the object of the admiration doesn’t respond positively, many people see the peace and comfort in living in a lie, self-hatred and the hatred for others! Shortsighted, many fail to see the strength in confronting their weakness as it ultimately makes you want to be a better person. And exactly that self-improvement was the biggest and best product of my past heartbreaks, which I actually should be thankful for, as I would not be the person I am today! PS. I’ll be bringing the Olympic Flame to the Homomonument to launch the 12th International Drag Olympics on Friday 5th August – hope to see you all there! Greek-Australian Jennifer Hopelezz (38) arrived in Amsterdam in 1990. She (co-) started Pink Point, Homomonument Festivals, Drag Olympics and SuperBall. Nowadays she’s co-owner of Club Church, Sauna Nieuwezijds and board member of Gala. She is mother of the House of Hopelezz and lives apart together with her 3 ancées and more than 50 children. Misha M lives and works in Amsterdam. Part-time songwriter and part-time masseur, the USSR-born former New Yorker shares his dating and sex life stories and experiences, and the lessons he has learned from them. email@example.com/www.mishamamedov.com FOTO © JENNIFER HOPELEZZ FOTO © MGR MADHATTER 221 037