”ER ZIJN NOG VEEL TABOES”
Photography: Prisma Compositional
Video: Paradox Productions
Interview: Paul Hofman
DINAH BONS: “THERE ARE STILL TABOOS”
Ambassador Dinah Bons is a woman with a very impressive resume. As an activist for the rights of sex workers and bi-cultural LGBT people, the Moluccan transwoman Dinah has made a name for herself in the pink world. Her motto? “Do beautiful things for others and yourself.”
Her agenda is filling up at high speed. In between journeys we speak to her in Amsterdam. She currently lives and works in Berlin as executive strategy director for policy organization Transgender Europe, a role that is made for her. She is also working as a chairperson for the bi-cultural foundation Trans United Netherlands. And if that is not enough, she is still politically active and works as a nurse.
Her first reaction when chosen as a Pride Amsterdam ambassador was simple: “What an honor and joy for the trans community that I represent.” In this role, Dinah can really talk about this community to a wider audience. “This is also important to the political field.”
Last year she was on the Dutch political party’s PvdA list of candidates for the Amsterdam city council. She wasn’t chosen, unfortunately, but that didn’t stop her from becoming even more active. “In my work I am used to doing politics in the LGBT field at European level. I am committed to matters that concern all transgender people. I speak a lot in public. That way, I can communicate the message and work of Pride Amsterdam well in the media. ”
“The message that I am going to propagate is that the battle for LGBT rights is not nearly finished yet. Time and again we have to defend our rights at the local, national and international level. Because not every LGBT person has the same rights. “Bi-cultural LGBT people often have to fight harder to be able to hold their ground. There are also many stigmas and taboos within our community, resulting in loneliness and gloom. As an ambassador, I can try to break through prejudice by talking about it. That is an assignment that I set for myself. ”
Fightingly, Dinah says: “I think I will reach the goal if no more transgender people are killed because of their identity.” She could not have dreamed that she would become an ambassador. She secretly thought about it. “With that role and my politically committed message I can contribute to Pride Amsterdam. Because besides a party, the struggle and the work of activists and pink non-governmental organizations are important. These also shape the Pride. ” THEMEHer professional background has absolute added value. When we ask Dinah what the theme of “Remember the Past, create the Future” means, she immediately breaks loose: “Without knowledge about the struggle and the history of our community you cannot secure the future. It is important that everyone understands which stigmas and taboos have been broken. Nor can you understand the safety of vulnerable groups if you know nothing about that past. I gained my life experience in the eighties and nineties. But I am also in the middle of the present. Because you realize that the blows the AIDS epidemic has inflicted on the community, you can understand the fears but also the resilience of LGBT people.
She is clear about what could be improved in the field of transgender people: “Self-determination and human rights must be at the center of trans-specific health care.” That makes her nurse’s heart beat faster. “The right to decide who you are is so important.” And at the last minute: “I am also going for the extension or abolition of the concept of gender in municipal records.” In addition to doing beautiful things for others and herself, a complement to her life motto comes to mind: “Life is too short not to enjoy. It can be over before you know it.”
Pride ambassadeur since 2019