This morning D66 leader Alexander Pechtold broke the Dutch internet with a picture of him and negotiating partner Wouter Koolmees walking hand in hand to the new coalition negotiations. No, they’re not gay – it was a statement against the dirty, stupid, and ridiculous homophobia that still lingers in the Netherlands. (Check the #allemannenhandinhand at twitter for more on this issue.)
So what happened?
In Arnhem, at the goddamned Nelson Mandela Bridge, two men were brutally assaulted by six Moroccan youths (and yes, unfortunately, culture matters this time) because they were walking hand in hand together. One of the victims lost half his teeth because he was attacked with a fricking bolt cutter!
Two of the scumbag assailants were arrested. And this is just in, but four other young men between the ages of fourteen and sixteen, have just turned themselves in to the Arnhem police for their involvement.
The couple weren’t even openly kissing (not that that’s a reason for violence) or displaying affection other than simply holding hands when they thought and hoped no-one would see them. As one of the victims said to the NOS:
‘We don’t usually do that, holding hands in public, because we don’t want to provoke people. But we’d had a nice evening, it was late and we thought we were alone.’
Homophobia in Holland: These are the people causing it
Even in this country today, gay people are afraid to hold hands and it’s time to point some fingers now as well; because although only an extremely tiny mindless fraction of men in the Netherlands is practicing violent homophobia, there are still scores of people that incite this behavior with their intolerant attitudes.
Obviously there are the criminal Moroccan street youths, where homophobia is frequently rooted in the culture and this has to be changed. But they’re not the only ones: There are fundamentalist priests and imams who continue to promote homophobia; DENK, who are always quick to cry ‘racism’ but do nothing here; the fundamentalist Christians of the SGP who want to follow Jesus in every aspect – except when it comes to accepting a different sexual preference, and that’s just to name a few. And let’s not forget about all the companies and governmental institutions that still fire people when they find out that they’re gay. To atheist hell with them!
Not everyone has to be friends, but can’t we goddamn live and work together?
Oh and props to the Volkskrant for this coverpage of today, very fitting and well thought out:
Is dit echt de kop? Na het gruwelijke geweld tegen homo’s dit weekend?!? pic.twitter.com/DykNPP18jp
— Arthur Japin (@ArthurJapin) April 3, 2017
Anyways, this story is developing today and as you can see my train of thought was a bit angry. What do you think of all this? Feel free to share in the comments.