in the city
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
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
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
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!
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
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. firstname.lastname@example.org/www.mishamamedov.com
FOTO © JENNIFER HOPELEZZ
FOTO © MGR MADHATTER