Taking part in a Gay Pride has been an experience I always wanted to live, yet somehow I always managed to miss. It represents to me a big celebration of equal rights for homosexuals and a way for everybody else to be supportive and respectful.

Pride Flag - Amsterdam Canal Parade, Our First Gay Pride Experience

We were in Rotterdam in The Netherlands when we realized that the Amsterdam Gay Pride was already on and happening. We got talking with our Couchsurfing host that was getting ready to join one of the boats for the Canal Parade and we got extremely excited about it. Our next stop was going to be Haarlem and, being only few kilometers away from Amsterdam, we decided to cut short our stay in Haarlem staying to two days only so that we could join the party in Amsterdam. Could you blame us?

We arrived in Amsterdam just in time for the famous Canal Parade which is probably the most awaited event of the whole Gay Pride Week and now, after having experienced it ourselves, we can understand why.

Getting ready for Amsterdam Canal Parade, Our First Gay Pride Experience
Decorations for Amsterdam Canal Parade, Our First Gay Pride Experience
A guy at Amsterdam Canal Parade, Our First Gay Pride Experience
Private boat waiting for Amsterdam Canal Parade, Our First Gay Pride Experience

Amsterdam is recognized for its well-known acceptance for every type of lifestyle, for its liberal culture and tolerance for actions that are harmless towards others, therefore it couldn’t have been a better place to experience our first Gay Pride. We wish we had the chance to see more of the various events, parties and activities that usually burst all over Amsterdam during the Gay Pride Week, but being there for the Canal Parade – which is supposed to be its highlight – was already an incredibly amazing and fun adventure that we’d happily repeat next year.

Awaiting for the start of Amsterdam Canal Parade, Our First Gay Pride Experience
People along the canal for Amsterdam Canal Parade, Our First Gay Pride Experience
Watching the Amsterdam Canal Parade, Our First Gay Pride Experience

An Open Air Giant Party

Even before the Canal Parade started, we felt an enjoyable atmosphere by walking alongside the canals and noticed that people were slowly getting ready by setting up proper parties/viewing areas, which in some cases had chairs and tables where booze and snacks weren’t missing. Small private boats were filled with people in fancy dress costumes already dancing with loud music on and getting ready to join the main parade once it started. Everybody was in a good mood, with a big smile on their faces and absolutely having an incredibly good time.

Having fun at Amsterdam Canal Parade, Our First Gay Pride Experience
Enjoying Amsterdam Canal Parade, Our First Gay Pride Experience
People on a privite boat during Amsterdam Canal Parade, Our First Gay Pride Experience
Dog at the Amsterdam Canal Parade, Our First Gay Pride Experience
Partying at Amsterdam Canal Parade, Our First Gay Pride Experience

We simply got sucked in by the festive environment and started dancing and singing too, it was impossible to remain still and ignore the giant open party Amsterdam was offering. When the Canal Parade started, rather than compete with the other visitors for a nice spot by the canal or on one of the many bridges which were incredibly crowded, we walked along the entire 6 km route. We absolutely had the time of our lives, we had so much fun like we’d not had in a long time and I personally enjoyed one of my favourite activities ever, people watching.

Crowd on a canal bridge during Amsterdam Canal Parade, Our First Gay Pride Experience
Franca enjoying Amsterdam Canal Parade, Our First Gay Pride Experience
People along the Canal during Amsterdam Canal Parade, Our First Gay Pride Experience
People watching Amsterdam Canal Parade, Our First Gay Pride Experience
Advert at Amsterdam Canal Parade, Our First Gay Pride Experience

It’s incredible how creative people got on these 80 boats extravagantly decorated, full of men and women proudly showing their sexual orientation, dancing to the music played by the on-board DJ, smiling and performing for the many spectators. On one of the boats there was even a special guest who was very popular amongst the crowd, Conchita Wurst who you might remember if you watched this years Eurovision Song Contest.

A boat at Amsterdam Canal Parade, Our First Gay Pride Experience
A boat during Amsterdam Canal Parade, Our First Gay Pride Experience
Conchita Wurst on a boat at Amsterdam Canal Parade, Our First Gay Pride Experience
Another boat at Amsterdam Canal Parade, Our First Gay Pride Experience

For us the Gay Pride is a time to show our support for human rights without discriminate anyone for their sexual tastes. There is nothing wrong at all in loving or being attracted by someone of the same sex and taking part to Amsterdam Gay Pride was a way for us to show how we don’t follow any gender stereotype, on the contrary we support diversity and its free manifestation.

Dressed up for Amsterdam Canal Parade, Our First Gay Pride Experience
A couple at Amsterdam Canal Parade, Our First Gay Pride Experience
Smiles at Amsterdam Canal Parade, Our First Gay Pride Experience

We liked Amsterdam Gay Pride so much that Dale has decided that he wants to take part next year by joining the crowd on one of the boats for the Canal Parade. I can definitely see him performing but I cannot imagine which costume he might or ‘might not’ be wearing. We shall just wait and see.

Would you like to join Dale for next years Amsterdam Canal Parade?