Pride Amsterdam
Canal Parade boat

#15 Pride University (Hoger Onderwijs Boot)

X=YOU X=ME X=US With this tagline on shirts and flags, four Amsterdam universities of applied sciences and universities of applied sciences are drawing attention to gender inclusion in education during the Canal Parade. Under the name Pride University, the University of Amsterdam, the Vrije Universiteit, the Hogeschool van Amsterdam and Hogeschool Inholland are once again […]

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X=YOU X=ME X=US

With this tagline on shirts and flags, four Amsterdam universities of applied sciences and universities of applied sciences are drawing attention to gender inclusion in education during the Canal Parade. Under the name Pride University, the University of Amsterdam, the Vrije Universiteit, the Hogeschool van Amsterdam and Hogeschool Inholland are once again sailing together for lhbtiq+ rights and inclusion within education. In a letter, the four institutions ask for concrete actions and support from their boards for more gender inclusion.

The UvA is working hard on gender inclusion. The UvA, for example, is working on gender-neutral toilets and more neutral signage. “To be able to fully focus on your studies, you have to be able to be yourself. That is why we want to give our students more options than only male/female”, Jessica Fenenga of UvA Pride emphasizes.

But we still have a long way to go. Too often, students and staff in education are still asked about their gender, without it being clear whether it is relevant. Also, non-binary students and colleagues can hardly choose from another option when registering, such as ‘X’ or ‘other’. “That can and should really be different,” says Lieneke Luit of Vu Pride.

There are numerous initiatives within the Amsterdam higher education institutions, but Pride University calls for inclusive policies and multiple choices: X = all of us!

Students and employees in transition or after transition are too often confronted with their dead name. “This really has to change, because everyone should be able to feel safe and welcome”, says Richard van der Veen of HvA Pride.

To reinforce our statement that binary thinking and acting is not inclusive, we sail along in unisex and one sized shirts with the text Dear Mr. or Dear Mrs crossed with a large St. Andrew’s cross and we conclude with our tagline X = me or X = us. “In this way we show that we, as higher education institutions in Amsterdam, stand together for gender inclusiveness”, concludes Delano van Steenveldt of Inholland Pride.