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May 5, 2005


Ohmigawd! Today is 05/05/05!!! So like I'll get up and make a blog entry at 0505-hundred hours.

Hunky Washington Blade editor Chris Crain was recently gay-bashed in Amsterdam, on Queens Day near the gay district no less. Here's the link to the moving story and disturbing photo on the Blade website. Even in the illusory gay meccas of progressive countries there is sometimes no escape from homophobia. I've seen the editor out and about here in DC, and he is a very big guy - it seems hatred does not recognize stature either. It's a sad lesson that sometimes culture does not always keep up with policy and legal protection even in the most tolerant societies.

In the summer of 1990 I had begun to come out, and sort of "did Europe" while studying German forestry practices and pollution issues in Poland. I checked out the gay scenes in Oslo, London and Amsterdam. Amsterdam was a huge gay theme park that I saw through very wide eyes, but I managed to have fun safely. Even back then it seemed safe enough, but that's not always the case I guess.

Posted by jimbo at May 5, 2005 5:05 AM


Yeah, my first thoughts on that when I read abiout that yesterdays was, A. Why hadn't I heard about that? and B. Maybe this will make him wake up that there are gay bashers out there, and his college friend Ken Mehlman (RNC chair) is just as bad as the guys who beat him up.

Posted by: stebbins at May 5, 2005 9:52 AM

To be fair, he wasn't attacked by a native Dutchman, which would be highly out of character. This is one of the cruxes of Northern European countries: gay rights is viewed through the prism of its members already being part of the nationality and so extending rights is perfectly natural. Getting immigrants on board is another matter.

The large numbers of immigrants in the last 30 years have been from less developed nations and so cling to their old beliefs. I saw this case a couple weeks back and read it not as Sweden is anti-gay but obviously as backwards person with customs not associated with the dominant society. http://www.365gay.com/newscon05/04/042505sweden.htm

Posted by: copperred at May 5, 2005 10:16 AM