‘Remember the past, create the future’

The theme of Pride Amsterdam 2019 is ‘Remember the past, create the future’. “This year we are commemorating the Stonewall riots, which broke out in New York 50 years ago and form a decisive moment in the history of the LGBT-movement”, says director Lucien Spee of Amsterdam Gay Pride. A year later, in 1970, the first Pride Parade was held in New York.

NYC WorldPride 2019

Internationally there will be a lot of attention for Stonewall 50 years. Pride Amsterdam will be represented at the Parade in New York on Sunday 30 June 2019.


The Stonewall riots took place at the end of June 1969 in Greenwich Village at the evacuation of the gay bar The Stonewall Inn by the Metropolitan Police. After years of harassment and violence by the police the visiting public consisting of homosexual men, lesbian women, but especially transvestites, decided to fight back.

Pride in the Netherlands

Seven years after the Stonewall riots the first big demonstration, organized by the International Lesbian Alliance, took place in the Netherlands. Since 1979 this became an annual event called ‘Pink Saturday’ which each year takes place in a different city.”

Unlike Pink Saturday Pride Amsterdam was not the result of a demonstration or protest march. “Pride Amsterdam started out as a party. It was organized by gay entrepreneurs to promote Amsterdam as a gay city and to celebrate the freedom and diversity of our city” says Spee. “Many years later emancipatory content was added to our Pride and we have now grown into a festival that expresses the diversity of the LGBTI community with a whole range of events in the fields of debate, art, theatre, film, (dance) parties and sports. Because of this development, we received the Bob Angelo Penning from the COC in 2014.

The highlight of Pride Amsterdam is the world-famous Canal Parade. “Eighty boats. All with their own message and supporting our main message: ‘be who you are, love who you want’. Attention to sports and companies remains undiminished during the festival. Spee: “Of the 76 sports federations affiliated with NOC*NSF, last year only the rowing federation (KNRB) wanted to be represented during the Pride and was visible with their logo. So there is still a long way to go.” The establishment of the Pride Business Club last year is also a good step. “It gives us an extra ‘tool’ to involve companies even more. Companies can only participate in the Canal Parade if they are a member of the Pride Business Club. We want to create a network of professionals that support us both financially and in terms of substantive support. In the media, the motives of the companies are often openly questioned, but people are insufficiently aware that these companies are also actively supporting our emancipation struggle during the rest of the year. In addition, they also ensure that we can even organize a Pride at all. “The fact that companies belong to Pride Amsterdam is visible in this video.